Early in March, when the curtain went up on the hit Broadway musical every dancin’ boy knows and loves–Billy Elliot–audiences were met with a new set of Billys. As we all know, eight times a week a Billy has to take the stage. That means some young male dancer has to dance and sing as the main character in this award-winning musical. The new stars of the New York production are Dayton Tavares, Mike Dameski, Liam Redhead, Jacob Clemente, and Alex Ko. (Actually, I believe Alex was already performing–possibly as an understudy–when Julian and I saw the show last summer.)
Of course, the casting directors must constantly look for new Billys since the boys do grow and mature to the point where they can no longer play the role. That’s why a new set of potential Billys waits in the wings. Some are enrolled in the Billy Elliot School; we’ve some taking class at Broadway Dance Center with Finis Jung.
To see a fun video from MYFOXNY.com of Fox 5’s Anne Craig trying to dance with with new Broadway Billys, click here.
A cast of Korean Billys also has been chosen for the first Billy Elliot in Asia and the fourth production in the world, following ones in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States. The production is expected to create a huge storm on the Korean performance scene this year.
Starting with the first open auditions in Seoul in February 2009, the regional auditions were held in Daegu, Busan, Gwangju, Daejeon, and up until the 4th open auditions in January this year, the one-year-long run of “finding Billy” targeted all Korean boys under the height of 150 centimeters. Some 800 boys applied for the auditions.
Kim Se-yong, 13; Lee Ji-myeong, 13; Im Sun-woo, 11; and Jung Jin-ho, 12, are Korea’s first Billys. You can read a story about them here.
Julian and I will not go see Billy Elliot while we are in NYC this summer for the ABT Summer Intensive. We’ve seen it twice already. He’ll have to make do with (hopefully) dancing with David Alverez, a former Billy, during the intensive. He and David became quick friends the two days David was able to attend the intensive last year; his performance schedule prevented him from attending the rest of the time. However, Julian was happy that David showed him how he did one of the tricks the Billys do on stage–the one where he flips off a piano.