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Chicago first stop in ‘Billy’ tour

Extended run to begin at Chicago's Ford Center

After pirouetting away with 10 trophies at this year’s Tony Awards, “Billy Elliot: The Musical” will segue from Broadway to a multi-city national tour, beginning with an extended run at Chicago’s Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theater in March.

The road production will be presented by Universal Pictures Stage Prods., Working Title Films and Old Vic Prods., in association with Weinstein Live Entertainment, with further stops, casting and dates to be announced.

“The 3½-year run of ‘Wicked’ paved the way for us to consider Chicago for an extended production,” Working Title co-chief Eric Fellner said.

Adapted by Lee Hall from U’s 2000 movie, with a score by Elton John and direction by Stephen Daldry, the show has been a smash hit in London since it opened at the Victoria Palace in May 2005. It also played Sydney and Melbourne in an Australian offshoot, opening at Broadway’s Imperial Theater to rave reviews and instant B.O. success last November. Gross to date for the Gotham run is $47.8 million.

North American road presenters have been gung-ho about the prospect of a “Billy” tour since unconfirmed reports began circulating during this year’s awards season. The show’s haul of Tonys included nods for musical, book, lead and featured actors, direction and choreography.

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