Billy Elliot Dances Its Way to the Drury Lane Theatre, Opening Tonight

News   Billy Elliot Dances Its Way to the Drury Lane Theatre, Opening Tonight
Drury Lane Theatre presents the Chicago-area regional premiere of the Tony Award-winning musical Billy Elliot, officially opening April 16 following previews that began April 10.

Billy Elliot continues through June 7. Rachel Rockwell directs, and Roberta Duchak provides musical direction.

The title role of Billy is played by Chicago natives Nicholas Dantes and Kyle Halford. Also starring are Susie McMonagle as Mrs. Wilksinson, Ron E. Rains as Dad, Maureen Gallagher as Grandma, Liam Quealy as Tony, Michael Harp as Michael, Brooke MacDougal and Peyton Schaffer as Debbie Wilkinson, Terry Hamilton as George, Brianna Borger as Mum, Rhett Gutter as Older Billy and Bret Tuomi as Mr. Braithwaite.

Rounding out the cast are William Carlos Angulo, Julia Baker, Cody Bolithon, Johnson Brock, Grier Burke,
 Gary Carlson, Michael Di Leo, Abigail Dudich, Samantha Erne, Allison Graves,
Sage Harper, Hannah Clare Horner, Raymond Interior, Amelia Grace Kuhlman, Princess Isis Z. Lang, Emily Leahy, Iris Lieberman, Ingrid Clare Lowery, Katie Malchow, Mia Moore,
Ava Morse, Ashton Schaffer, Peter Scharbrough, Steven Spanapoulos, Brandon Springman, Holly Stauder, Zachary Uzarraga, Jonathan Weir and Fred Zimmerman.

The musical features a score by Elton John (The Lion King, Aida) and book and lyrics by Lee Hall, who wrote the screenplay for the Academy Award-nominated film that inspired the musical.

Here's how the production is billed: "Set during the 1984-85 U.K. miners’ strike in a small working class town in the English countryside, young Billy discovers a passion for ballet and trades in his boxing gloves for dancing shoes. As he struggles against the odds to make his dream of becoming a dancer come true, Billy inspires his family and whole community, changing their lives forever. This joyous celebration of one boy’s journey defying convention to follow his heart is a must-see theatrical experience." The creative team, led by artistic director William Osetek, includes Kevin Depinet (scenic design), Lee Fiskness (lighting design), Maggie Hofmann (costume coordination), Garth Helm (sound design), Nick Heggestad (properties design), Penny Lane Studios (wig and hair design), Christine Adair (dialect coach) and Matt Hawkins (fight choreographer).

Based on the hit film, Billy Elliot premiered in London in 2005 and continues its West End run. After opening on Broadway Nov. 13, 2008, at the Imperial Theatre, the production won ten 2009 Tony Awards, including Best Book and Best Musical.

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