Elton John World News: Toronto Tryout

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EJ Musical May be Postponed

Friday 10 March 2006 @ 16:36 - GMT

On March 10, 2006, the New York Post noted that the Billy Elliot musical may not open on Broadway as soon as expected.

It was slated for 2007, but the engagement could be put on hold for several years, going to Canada instead.

The Mirvish family, which controls most of Toronto's theaters, has reportedly made an ''aggressive offer'' for Billy Elliot, and this would be hard to pass up. It's a complex show with a huge rotating cast of yougsters, so the fee could be as high as $15 million to stage in the U.S.

Besides the benefit of a lower fee to put on the production, director Stephen Daldry is said to be concerned about finding enough boys up to Broadway's exacting standards. At least if he got the Toronto show up and running, it could become a ''sort of school'' for the stars, where their could get ''their sea legs'' before appearing in New York. ''It would be the feeder for Broadway,'' concluded an unnamed source, involved with the production.

Even so, Toronto isn't the hot market it was years ago when draws like Mama Mia! and The Lion King were doing so well. The Canadian dollar has made big gains on the U.S. dollar, so it's no longer such a bargain for Americans. And since 9/11, it's more difficult for folks to cross the border.

Meanwhile, in other Billy Elliot news, Flickfilospher.com has a contest where three winners will be chosen at random--to win the cast recording. The deadline for entrants, who are required to include a mailing address, is 11:59 p.m. Eastern time, Monday, March 20.

The site is at

www.flickfilosopher.com/blog/2006/03/win_an_original_cast_recording.html.

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