19 BILLYS TO CELEBRATE SHOW’S ANNIVERSARY
Billy Elliot will celebrate its 5th anniversary in the West End on 31 March 2010 by choreographing a special finale featuring a chorus line of 19 past, present and future Billy Elliots.
21 boys in all have played the role in London since its world premiere and from the 24 March 2010 12 years old Rhys Yeomans from Oldham will become the 40th Billy Elliot worldwide. He started dancing at the age of 9 and joins three other Billys alternating in the role – Dean-Charles Chapman, Oliver Gardner and Tom Holland. Other members of the cast include West End star Joanna Riding as Mrs Wilkinson.
The acclaimed musical opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre in 2005 and has now been seen by over 4.5 million people worldwide. Other productions have included Sydney and Melbourne, and its current successful run on Broadway. It will start in Chicago from 18 March with Korea opening in August 2010, and Toronto and Japan in 2011, as well as a forthcoming North American tour and planned productions in Germany and Holland.
JERSEY BOYS CELEBRATES SECOND BIRTHDAY
Tomorrow night in the West End, Jersey Boys will celebrate its second birthday, having opened at the Prince Edward Theatre in London on 18 March 2008.
New cast members are joining the show for the third year of its run: Jon Boydon (We Will Rock You, Grease) as Tommy DeVito and Eugene McCoy (Mamma Mia!) as Nick Massi. The show has won 21 international awards since opening on Broadway in 2006 including an Olivier Award for Best New Musical. Other cast includes Ryan Molloy as Frankie Valli and Stephen Ashfield as Bob Gaudio.
The show follows the story of Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons and their remarkable rise to stardom as one of the most successful bands in pop history.
PRISCILLA IS ONE THIS MONTH
Also this month, Priscilla Queen of the Desert will celebrate its first birthday at the Palace Theatre (yes, it really has only been a year!) on 23 March.
Priscilla recently won the Best New Musical award at the Whatsonstage awards and has been nominated for a number of 2010 Olivier Awards. Jason Donovan continues to star in the show, alongside Don Gallagher as Bernadette and Oliver Thornton as Adam.
The musical follows three friends who hop aboard a battered old bus (nicknamed Priscilla) searching for love and friendship, and features an array of outrageous costumes and a score of dance-floor classics.