Broadway Now Has Four Billys: Batchelor Elevated to Lead Billy Elliot Role

By Andrew Gans
24 Mar 2009

Tommy Batchelor
Tommy Batchelor

The Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical now features four — rather than three — young actors, who rotate in the musical's title role.

Joining David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish is 13-year-old Tommy Batchelor, according to a press statement.

Batchelor, who hails from Palm Beach Gardens, FL, began dancing at the age of four. He was previously an understudy for the three Broadway Billys.

A spokesperson for the Tony Awards told the New York Times that only the three original Billys will be eligible for a joint Tony nomination for Best Actor in a Musical.



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.

Billy Elliot plays the Imperial Theatre.