MTI Acquires BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL for Licensing - Official Press Release

MTI Acquires BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL for Licensing - Official Press Release

NEW YORK, N.Y. – March 5, 2014 - Theatrical licensor Music Theatre International has secured worldwide licensing rights to one of Broadway’s biggest hits, BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL.

“BILLY ELLIOT continues to be one of the most celebrated, award-winning musicals of our time and has been seen by over eight million people worldwide,” said MTI’s President, Drew Cohen. “We look forward to building on this success by bringing the musical to an even wider audience as regional theatres, community theatres and high schools across the country will soon have the chance to perform the show on their stages. BILLY ELLIOT’s story is universal and we know the show’s inspiring message will now resonate with a new generation of performers and audience members.”

Since its opening in the West End, BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL has enjoyed enormous commercial success, recouping on Broadway in a little over a year and becoming one of the most successful shows of all time.

BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL is based on the 2000 film Billy Elliot. The music is by Elton John, and book and lyrics are by Lee Hall, who wrote the film's screenplay. The plot revolves around young Billy, whose preference for ballet shoes over boxing gloves challenges his father’s and brother’s conventional version of boyhood. The story of his personal struggle and fulfillment are balanced against a counter-story of family and community strife caused by the UK miners' strike (1984–1985) in County Durham, in North Eastern England.

The musical premiered in London's West End in 2005 and was nominated for nine Olivier Awards, winning four including Best New Musical. The production is still running strongly, and its success led to productions in Australia, on Broadway and elsewhere. In New York, it won ten Tony Awards and ten Drama Desk Awards, including, in each case, Best Musical. It has also won numerous awards in Australia including a record-tying seven Helpmann Awards.

The first Regional productions of BILLY ELLIOT THE MUSICAL will begin this summer starting at The MUNY in St. Louis, MO from June 16th to June 22nd, followed by the Ogunquit Playhouse in Ogunquit, ME from June 25th – July 26th.