OPENING NIGHT CHICAGO: Billy Elliot opened in Chicago on Sunday, April 11 with all the usual red carpet fanfare and more. The show was held up for 15 minutes before Elton John and Oprah Winfrey made their way down the aisle to thunderous applause and then the show began.
A week later, I posted the question on my blog: The Four Billy's: Who did you see?
What I discovered quickly from the comments and emails I received is that there is a world of "Billy fans." Many fans have traveled near and far to see different boys play the star role. The most that I've heard comes from a "Billy Addict" who has seen 18 different boys perform the role.
What is interesting is that it seems each Billy brings a different dimension to the role. Some Billy's are angry, others are accepting, some add a special comedic flair while others play the Billy character as lonely and sad.
Another thing I'm discovering is that we all seem to have a special place in our hearts for our own Billy--not unlike a son, a little brother or a nephew. My first Billy, J.P. Viernes from Half Moon Bay, Ca. was Asian and for about a minute I had a problem connecting him with his English mining family and then he won me over. His attitude was accepting, cheerful, fun--could I even imagine another Billy?
Chicago's opening night Billy, Cesar Corrales who has been mentioned by some as perhaps the best Billy of all played the role as angry and sad. After watching, "my Billy" that doesn't seem right. Now I am beginning to understand that this show is not just one show--not just one Billy. I will see it again and again and want to hear from all of you about your Billy's and why you care.
Individual tickets range in price from $30 to $100. Tickets are available at Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St. and 18 W. Monroe St.), the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (800) 775-2000. Rush tickets ($25) go on-sale at 10 a.m. the day of each performance (11 a.m. on Sundays). Twelve (12) seats are available at the Ford Center/Oriental Theatre box office (24 W. Randolph) only. As many as thirty-eight (38) additional seats, subject to availability at select performances, may be made available. Rush ticket limit is two (2) tickets per patron, and all seats are limited view.
The high-energy spectacle STOMP where artists use trash cans, hubcaps, plungers and related objects as percussive instruments OPENS tonight at the Bank of America Theatre. 18 W. Monroe. Through May 2.
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