The first Israeli production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) opened at the 870 seat City Hall Theatre at Cinema City Ramat HaSharon, in northern Tel Aviv on June 1, 2016. This was the first time that BETM had been performed in Hebrew.
The production also had limited runs at two other venues – the Tel Aviv Performing Arts Center in Tel Aviv (Aug 14 – Sep 2, 2016) and the Mozkin Theatre in Haifa (Dec 16-22, 2016). The show then continued back at its original venue in Tel Aviv. It was announced in March 2017 that after almost a year of performances, the final show in Tel Aviv would be on April 7, 2017.
After a break of a few months, the Israeli cast came together once again and embarked on an 18 venue tour all around the country throughout August 2017, starting in Rishon LeZion on Aug 2, and concluding in Ashdod on Aug 31. The tour included BETM’s first visit to Israel’s capital, Jerusalem. A full itinerary for the tour can be found here.
This production is the culmination of two years of preparation, and according to Eldar Groisman, the choreographer and director for the Tel Aviv production, “is the work of a group of dreamers who invested a lot of money in the project, and they deserve a lot of respect”. Eli Bizawii, who translated the script into Hebrew, said this about the musical’s relevance to an Israeli audience, “I am convinced that the distance between the coal miners’ strike and our problems here will only make the message shine through. I am sure that the audience will be able to make the connection and relate to the story.”
In March 2016, the Tel Aviv company hosted an open rehearsal in order to introduce their cast to the public. This video clip, taken at the event, shows the cast performing excerpts from some of the major numbers in the show:
Credit: Video by עכבר העיר
The official trailer for the production was released in June 2016, and includes footage from the show itself:
Credit: Video by בילי אליוט המחזמר
To see a complete listing of the rest of the BETM cast in Israel, just click on the Cast Information button.
Credit: Photo by Billy Elliot the Musical IL