The show is based on the hit 2000 film starring Jamie Bell
The musical version of hit film Billy Elliot has opened on Broadway, with composer Sir Elton John and director Stephen Daldry in attendance.
Actor Kevin Spacey, comedy star Rosie O'Donnell and director Ron Howard were among the first night audience at New York's Imperial Theatre.
Critics have given the show the thumbs up, with the New York Times calling it "intoxicating" and "seductive".
Billy Elliot opened in London in 2005. A Sydney production followed in 2007.
Sir Elton donned a tutu at the end of the show as he joined the show's three young leads for the curtain call.
"I never thought in a million years I'd ever be standing in Broadway talking about something I'd written for the stage." he told reporters.
'Triumph over adversity'
Based on the 2000 film which Daldry also directed, Billy Elliot tells of a young boy from the North of England who longs to dance.
Jamie Bell played Billy in the original film, which was set against the backdrop of the 1980s miners' strike.
Daldry (left) directed both the original film and its musical adaptation
Sir Elton, accompanied by his partner David Furnish, said the musical was about "triumph over adversity".
"It's something beautiful coming out of something tragic," he added.
Trade newspaper Variety agreed, saying US audiences will "have no trouble connecting with the universal sentiment of this bittersweet dual celebration of community and individuality".
"The frazzled warmth of the performances is contagious, right down to the smallest bit part," its critic continued.
Other stars attending Thursday's launch included Natasha Richardson, Rachel Weisz and talk show host Barbara Walters.
The London production of Billy Elliot continues at the Victoria Palace Theatre, where it is currently booking until October 2009.