Cast and Creative Team Announced for SoCal Co-Production of BILLY ELLIOT
San Diego Musical Theatre (SDMT) and California Ballet Company (CBC) announced today the complete cast and creative team for their upcoming co-production of Billy Elliot. This Tony Award-Winning musical includes music by Elton John, with book and lyrics by Lee Hall. Billy Elliot features direction by Neil Dale, who makes his San Diego directorial debut, music direction by Don LeMaster, and choreography by California Ballet Company Associate Artistic Director, Jared Nelson. Performances run from September 22 - October 8, 2017, at the Spreckels Theatre. Press opening is Saturday, September 23, 2017, at 8:00 p.m.
Set in Northern England against the turbulent miner's strike of 1984, 11-year-old Billy stumbles from the boxing ring into a ballet class. After discovering his extraordinary gift and passion for dance, Billy struggles to find acceptance from his coal-mining father. With an iconic score from music legend Elton John, Billy Elliot is a powerful story of one boy's journey to follow his dreams and inspire his community to find solidarity in the midst of challenging times.
"I have a personal connection to Billy's story," shared Director Neil Dale. "Born in Liverpool, England, I was just a teen when the 1980's miners' strike happened. I remember the impact the strike had on all families in the North of England. Money was tight, but families and communities stuck together to provide whatever they could for each other. Like Billy, I came from a working-class town where singing and dancing was not the normal career choice. To me, Billy Elliot shows us that no matter how impossible a dream may seem, anything is achievable."
Billy Elliot marks the first Co-production for San Diego Musical Theatre and California Ballet Company. Founded in 1968 and celebrating its 50th Anniversary Season, the California Ballet Company is among the largest professional dance companies on the West Coast and is the resident dance company of the San Diego Civic Theatre. Its alumni and faculty have impressive performance backgrounds and have danced with many of the most prestigious companies in the country. The California Ballet School has trained numerous graduates who have gone on to professional careers in dance with companies nationwide, including David Alvarez who starred as one of the original three Tony Award-Winning Billy's in the original Broadway production.
SDMT is pleased to announce the title role of Billy, will be played by 10-year-old Charlie Garton. The San Diego native attends Del Mar Pines School and has studied dance for the last three years at the Academy of Performing Arts (RAPA). Garton, along with the other children in the production have been rehearsing for months honing their ballet and tap skills and working with dialect coach Vanessa Dinning.
Also starring is CBC Student Mackernan Jarman as Michael, Doug Tompos as Dad, Luke Monday as Tony, Joy Yandell as Mrs. Wilkinson, Alexandra Gonzales as Grandma, Morgan Carberry as Mum, and CBC principal dancer Zachary Guthier as Adult Billy.
Additional cast includes: Beth Alison, Scott Arnold, Tom Brault, Randall Eames, Brooke Farnum, Steven Freitas, Donny Gersonde, Zachary Smart, Kyle Hawk, Ed Hollingsworth, Paul Morgavo, Jacob Narcy, Amy Perkins, Thomas Reasoner, Debra Wanger, and John B. Williford.
The youth cast includes: Claire Scheper, Julia Dawson, Sophia Dimmick, Marina Hall, Jamie McCoy, Kayla Pak, Simon Jude Pak, Eileen Parks, Adelina Rocha, Aaron Schueler, Cassidy Smith, Kaitlin Yamano, and Catalina Zelles.
The creative team is comprised of Neil Dale (Director), Don LeMaster (Music Director), Jared Nelson (Choreographer), ChrisTina Martin (Lighting Design), Kevin Anthenhill (Sound Design), Janet Pitcher (Costume Design), Peter Herman (Hair and Wig Design), Bret Young (Technical Director), Margaret Kayes (Stage Manager).
Neil Dale (Director): Neil began acting at the early age of 10 and has continued his professional career to date. He was born in Liverpool, England and moved to San Diego in 2007 after meeting his beautiful wife Jennifer in the Cameron Mackintosh production of Miss Saigon. His theatre credits include Les Miserables, Miss Saigon, Starlight Express, The Buddy Holly Story, Man Of La Mancha, Evita, Godspell, The Drowsy Chaperone, The Full Monty, My Fair Lady, Fiddler On the Roof, Cats, Billy Elliot, Joseph and a world premiere production of Oz an American Fairy Tale, to name a few. Neil's directorial credits include an award-winning production of Miss Saigon, You're A Good Man Charlie Brown, Sweet Charity, The King And I, and Crazy For You. Billy Elliot marks his San Diego directorial debut, and he couldn't be more excited to bring this beautiful story to the people of his hometown.
Performances for Billy Elliot run September 22 - October 8, 2017, at the Spreckels Theatre in downtown San Diego. Showtimes are Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. For more information on Billy Elliot and upcoming SDMT productions visit www.sdmt.org or call the box office at (858) 560-5740.
Founded in 2006, San Diego Musical Theatre is dedicated to passionately producing and providing musical theatre that ignites the human spirit.
SDMT is proud to partner with local community non-profits as a part of its You Give, We Give campaign. For its production of Billy Elliot, SDMT is partnering with A Reason To Survive. ARTS is a nonprofit dedicated to providing, supporting and advocating for creative arts programs that heal, inspire and empower youth facing adversity. ARTS offers therapeutic arts programs, formal arts education and college/career readiness bringing youth from crisis to a career in the arts.