NEW YORK (AP) — If you despaired at missing the sight of 25 Billy Elliots onstage together this fall, get your dancing shoes on.
Fathom Events will next month broadcast to U.S. movie theaters the special performance that brought together past and present Billys for a spectacular finale of "Billy Elliot the Musical" at London's Victoria Palace Theatre.
The show will be screened across America for the first time in hundreds of cinemas on Nov. 12, Nov. 15 and Nov. 18.
"The whole idea of 25 Billys is extraordinary. It gives scale. It gives scope. It gives dimension to the story," Fathom Events CEO John Rubey. "This show has all the pieces that make Billy so special."
Moviegoers will see the Sept. 28 performance, which included all three original Billy Elliots — James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower — as well as the current West End Billys and the ones who toured the show.
Elton John, who wrote the music, will offer a special welcome and there will also be a 5-minute backstage tour by Elliott Hanna, who played the role of Billy in the Sept. 28 broadcast. Mower, an original Billy, will play the older Billy.
The musical is based on the popular 2000 movie about a young boy who longs to dance ballet but lives in the bleak coal-mining area of Northern England. His story is set against the backdrop of a bitter miners' strike.
The musical won the 2006 Olivier and 2009 Tony Award for best new musical. Globally, "Billy Elliot the Musical" has played to 9.5 million people and is still running in the West End. Stephen Daldry, who directed the film, did the same for the stage version. Lee Hall adapted his own screenplay and wrote the lyrics.
The original show was broadcast live to eight countries — including the United Kingdom, where its one performance outdid every other film over the Friday-to-Sunday period, including multiple showings of the Denzel Washington action thriller "The Equalizer." The special show was also made into a DVD.
Mark Kennedy can be reached at http://twitter.com/KennedyTwits