BILLY ELLIOT: HOW MANY BIILY'S HAVE YOU SEEN? 18 AND COUNTING.

Billy's at Barre.jpg

The four Chicago Billy's.

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.

OPENING TONIGHT.

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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  • My friend Billy Addict has ONLY seen 18 actors play Billy? I've seen 25 different boys doing the role since the London production opened in May 2005. And I suspect this may be why Stephen Daldry (the director of the musical)greets me warmly every time we meet. Apparently, he's calculated how much money I've handed over to the theatres for the 169 performances of 'Billy Elliot the Musical' I've seen thus far. Seriously, every one of those shows was a joy to behold.

  • In reply to johnnyc:

    I knew it would not take long for my 18 Billy's to be knocked off! There are quite a few fans out there who have seen a lot of different Billy's over the 5 years since the show's inception. Only recently in London all the resident UK Billy's who have performed the role of Billy since 2005 took the stage for a special finale to celebrate 5 years of performance on the West End.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G0VCFsXCmLU

  • My count is 16 different Billys... and combine that with 9 different Michaels and 6 different Debbies... its really a different show every night. Also, the London, New York, and Chicago shows all have their differences as well. Knowing some fellow repeaters also makes the experience richer, I've made some amazing friends :)

  • In reply to geridith:

    I am pretty much a beginner with 6 Billy's after accidentally stumbling across the show in NYC when it was in previews in Oct. 2008. I now see it whenever I am close to a theater where it is playing (Including Chicago next week). Why? I am always overwhelmed by the talent of the cast not only with the Billys and Michaels but with the adult cast too. The story also leaves me uplifted and energized feeling that anything is possible in this world. I cheer every time I see it no matter which one of the talented kids are playing the main role as they are truly spectacular in their own way.

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