At different performances, young actors David Alvarez, Kiril Kulish and Trent Kowalik alternate in the musical's title role, a motherless boy who finds a way out of his bleak existence through the joy of dance.
Haydn Gwynne, who created the role of dance teacher Mrs. Wilkinson in the show's original London cast, repeats her work for Broadway audiences. Also in the company are Gregory Jbara as Dad, Tony winner Carole Shelley as Grandma and Santino Fontana as Billy's brother Tony. David Bologna and Frank Dolce alternate in the role of Billy's friend Michael with Stephen Hanna as Billy's Older Self, Joel Hatch as George, Leah Hocking as Mum, Thommie Retter as Mr. Braithwaite and Erin Whyland as Debbie.
The ensemble comprises Juliette Allen Angelo, Tommy Batchelor, Kevin Bernard, Grady McLeod Bowman, Heather Ann Burns, Maria Connelly, Samantha Czulada, Kyle DesChamps, Eboni Edwards, Brianna Fragomeni, Greg Graham, Darrell Grand Moultrie, Eric Gunhus, Meg Guzulescu, Izzy Hanson-Johnston, Keean Johnson, Aaron Kaburick, Donnie Kehr, Cara Kjellman, Kara Klein, David Koch, Jeff Kready, Stephanie Kurtzuba, David Larsen, Caroline London, Merle Louise, Marina Micalizzi, Mitchell Michaliszyn, Matthew Mindler, Tessa Netting, Daniel Oreskes, Jayne Paterson, Liz Pearce, Corrieanne Stein, Jamie Torcellini, Grant Turner and Casey Whyland.
Stephen Daldry, who directed the inspirational motion picture, also directs the stage production. The music is by Elton John with book and lyrics by Lee Hall. A cast album preserves the work of the London company.
The tale is set in England's Northeast against the backdrop of a miners' strike in Margaret Thatcher-ruled Great Britain. The musical concerns a working-class boy's dream of becoming a ballet dancer — and the obstacles and advocates he encounters.
|photo by David Scheinmann|
Song titles include "The Stars Look Down," "Shine," "We'd Go Dancing," "Solidarity," "Expressing Yourself," "Dear Billy" (Mum's Letter), "Born to Boogie," "Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher," "Deep Into the Ground," "He Could Be a Star," "Electricity," "Once We Were Kings" and "Dear Billy" (Billy's Reply). Billy Elliot—The Musical features choreography by Peter Darling, scenic design by Ian MacNeil, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Producers are Universal Pictures, Working Title & Old Vic Productions and Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Jon Finn and Sally Greene. Angela Morrison and David Furnish are executive producers.
The London production won Best New Musical at the 2006 Olivier Awards. Peter Darling picked up the Best Theatre Choreographer Award, while the Best Actor in a Musical Award was shared by James Lomas, George Maguire and Liam Mower, who originated the title role.
Show times are currently Tuesday-Friday at 8 PM and Saturday at 2 and 8 PM.
The Imperial Theatre is located in Manhattan at 249 West 45th Street.
For more information visit billyelliotbroadway.com.