Billy Bishop Goes to War

Billy Bishop Goes To War

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Billy Bishop Goes to War

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Billy Bishop Goes to War is a Canadian musical, written by John MacLachlan Gray and Eric Peterson. One of the most famous and widely-produced plays in Canadian theatre, it dramatizes the life of Canadian World War I fighter pilot Billy Bishop.


The play premiered at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia on November 3, 1978. Peterson played 18 different characters, and Gray accompanied on piano and vocals. The original production toured across Canada, and also was staged in Washington, DC, both on Broadway and off-Broadway in New York City, at the Edinburgh Festival, in Los Angeles and at the Comedy Theatre in London. During the international tour, a second production, starring Cedric Smith with musical accompaniment by Ross Douglas, continued touring across Canada.

The libretto was published in 1981 by Talonbooks.

The show was produced on Broadway at the Morosco Theatre from May 29, 1980 to June 7, 1980, closing after 12 performances and 7 previews. It then moved to Off-Broadway at the Lucille Lortel Theatre from June 17, 1980 to August 24, 1980.

In 1998, Gray and Peterson revised the show, adding one new song and presenting events through the eyes of a much older Bishop recalling his wartime exploits. They again toured the new production across Canada.

The show was produced at the Soulpepper...
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