The film offers an exclusive look at how David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish were chosen to play Billy Elliot on Broadway after a year-long, nationwide search, and what happened once they got there.
Beginning in October 2006, auditions were held in cities across the country. Thousands of hopefuls were seen and winnowed down to a final 15, who came to New York for an intensive ten-day boot camp with director Stephen Daldry and choreographer Peter Darling.
“Finding Billy” follows these final 15 as the creative team searches for boys who could master the tap, ballet, acrobatics and street dance involved, not to mention the acting, singing and difficult British dialect required for the role. From these 15, Alvarez, Kowalik and Kiril were chosen to create the role, and the film follows them from casting announcement to opening night.
The film features interviews with Daldry, Darling, casting director Nora Brennan, the boys themselves and their families, among others.
The film debuted on public television in December 2008, a month after the show bowed on Broadway. It was directed by Stephen Daldry, who directed the original film version of “Billy Elliot,” as well as the musical.
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— Gemma Wilson