By Jason KUROSU
Due to major renovations, the Alex Theatre was out of commission for close to a year, but the iconic theater is back and presenting major productions, with an upcoming run of the Tony Award winning musical “Billy Elliot” next on the marquee.
From Feb. 20-22, the musical, based on the highly successful 2000 film, will be in Glendale, giving local audiences an opportunity to enjoy a larger scale production than the Alex could previously provide.
The $5.2 million, 6,600 square foot expansion of the Alex Theatre has provided the theater with larger backstage facilities, allowing for accommodation of larger casts and increased loading capabilities. The theater has also received upgrades to its sound and lighting, as well as larger dressing rooms and new passenger and freight elevators.
Elissa Glickman, CEO of Glendale Arts, a nonprofit that manages the Alex Theatre, said that the expansion gives the theater “the opportunity to give people what they want to see.”
According to a poll conducted by Glendale Arts, what the people want to see is musical theater. Since the renovations completed last summer, the Alex Theatre featured a presentation of “Les Miserables” in January and with La Mirada-based McCoy Rigby Entertainment’s production of “Billy Elliot,” Glickman hopes that the Alex can continue onto larger productions than Alex Theatre audiences have ever seen.
“Billy Elliot” is the story of a young boy torn between his family’s blue collar, coal miner tradition and his personal aspirations to be a dancer. Glickman cited “tremendous reviews” from the musical’s current three-week run in recommending the show, which she called “a first class production.”
“If anyone has seen the film or the musical before, they should expect the same caliber production here,” said Glickman.
“Billy Elliot” will be at the Alex Theatre Friday and Saturday nights, Feb. 20 and Feb. 21 at 8 p.m. and Sunday afternoon, Feb. 22 at 3 p.m. Tickets are available and range in price from $25 to $75. Visit www.alextheatre.org for more information.