‘Pitmen’ digs Broadway

MTC will produce London hit this fall

“The Pitmen Painters,” the U.K. hit by “Billy Elliot” scribe Lee Hall, will get a Broadway run this fall in a Manhattan Theater Club production.

Pitmen,” originally a co-production of Newcastle’s Live Theater and London’s National Theater, preemed in Newcastle in 2008 and played the National in 2008. Play will feature the cast that has been with the show since its debut. Original director Max Roberts helms an ensemble that includes Brian Lonsdale, Phillippa Wilson and Ian Kelly.

Like “Billy” (for which Hall won a Tony), “Pitmen” centers on blue-collar protags discovering a passion for the arts. Based on a book by William Feaver, play follows the true story of a group of Northumberland miners who become famous painters.

Show earned glowing reviews in Blighty and went on to tour the U.K. after its run at the National.

MTC produces the Stateside incarnation by special arrangement with Bob Boyett, the American producer who has brought over a string of Brit plays including “The History Boys” and “The Seafarer.”

“Pitmen” will be the first offering in the 2010-11 season at nonprofit MTC. Production opens in September 2010 at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater, with an exact date to be announced.

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