Billy Elliot — Starring Ruthie Henshall and Original Billy, Liam Mower — Broadcast on PBS Tonight

News   Billy Elliot — Starring Ruthie Henshall and Original Billy, Liam Mower — Broadcast on PBS Tonight
 
The annual PBS Arts Fall Festival, which features eight new programs hosted by Grammy winner Gloria Estefan — whose own musical journey with her husband Emilio, On Your Feet!, recently began previews on Broadway — continues Oct. 23 with the Broadway and West End hit Billy Elliot the Musical Live.

The "Great Performances" production begins at 9 PM ET on PBS stations around the country; check local listings.

Liam Mower and Elliott Hanna in <i>Billy Elliot the Musical Live</i>
Liam Mower and Elliott Hanna in Billy Elliot the Musical Live

Recorded at the show’s West End home at the Victoria Palace Theatre, the cast is led by West End and Broadway star Ruthie Henshall in the role of Billy’s dance teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson; Deka Walmsley, who plays Billy’s dad Jackie; Ann Emery in the role of Grandma; and Chris Grahamson in the role of Billy’s elder brother Tony. Elliott Hanna (age 11) plays the role of Billy Elliot, Zach Atkinson (13) the role of Michael and Demi Lee (11) the role of Debbie.

Liam Mower, who returns to the show in the role of Older Billy for the broadcast, was the first boy ever to play the title role onstage in 2005. In addition, 25 current and former Billy Elliots unite on stage in a specially choreographed mash-up finale.

"Set in a mining town in the north of England against the background of the 1984-85 miners’ strike," Billy Elliot, according to press notes, "is the inspirational story of a young boy’s struggle against the odds to make his dream come true. Billy stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that inspires his family and whole community and changes his life forever."

Elton John and Lee Hall's adaptation of the acclaimed 2000 film, written by Hall and directed by Stephen Daldry, won multiple awards on both sides of the Atlantic, including 10 Tony Awards.

Click here for details about the entire PBS Arts Festival.

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