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Billy Elliot the Musical

Profiles of the young actors who play the title role in Billy Elliot the Musical as well as other BETM related articles.

Home » Billy Elliot the Musical, Billy Profiles

Meet Billy Elliot: North American Tour

 

 New BETM Logo (Small)The US/CanadianTour of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) was dubbed US National Tour 2 and kicked off at the Durham (NC) Performing Arts Center (DPAC) on October 30, 2010. The tour featured stops of a few days to 4 weeks (most stops were one week) in various cities around the United States and Canada. Originally planned to last for a minimum of three years, the tour played 64 cities in the United States and Canada and, after a five week layoff, finished up with a visit to Sao Paulo, Brazil from August 2-18, 2013 where it played its final performances (see a link to the full tour itinerary at the end of this article).

A hiatus for the original tour took place from August 22 to Oct. 31, 2011 during which some changes to the script and set were made and several cast changes took place.  The production then re-opened as North American Tour 2.5 on November 1, 2011 in St. Louis, Missouri.  All told, The Tour performed the show 886 times, with the revised 2.5 version representing 577 of those performances.

As in all productions of this popular musical, a large part of the success of this version of the show was dependent upon the boys in the title role.  Their talent dominated the show, as they were on stage for all but a couple of scenes for the show’s two hour and 50 minute duration.

BausilioThere were 13 boys who played the title role in the tour production of BETM.  One of them, Giuseppe Bausilio, didn’t finish his run as Billy with the tour.  Giuseppe was one of the tour’s originating Billys, having previously been one of the originating Billys for the Chicago production of the show. Finally, as one of the few actors who played Billy in three different productions of the show, Giuseppe finished his BETM career on Broadway. Therefore, his profile is not included here, but can be found with the Broadway Billy profiles by clicking here.

Mitchell Tobin Thumb6Another of the Tour Billys, Mitchell Tobin, was asked to play the role in London after the Tour closed in Sao Paulo, making his debut there on 9-Dec-2013.  His profile can be found here.

This article contains profiles of the young actors who played the role of Billy on Tour. Click on this icon to see a list of them with their Tour performance dates:

Note: To see captions for the pictures in this article, just move your cursor over the picture.

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The Profiles Index

The profiles of those who finished their performance careers as Billy on the North American Tour can be found in this article as listed in the following index. The index is in alphabetical order by last name of each actor. To view a profile (bio) of a particular Billy, click on his name:

Ben Cook Thumb6 Dameski Ty Forhan Thumb Fuller
Ben Cook Michael Dameski Ty Forhan Ethan Fuller
Kylend Hetherington Thumb3 Ishimoto Zach Manske Thumb2 Drew Minard Thumb4
Kylend Hetherington Lex Ishimoto Zach Manske Drew Minard
Noah-Parets Thumb4 Russell JP Viernes Thumb  
Noah Parets Daniel Russell J.P. Viernes  

 Note: For those interested in profiles of actors who played Billy in other productions of the show, they can be found on this site by clicking on the following production location:

London, BroadwayChicago/Toronto, Korea

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Tour Milestones

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Here’s one of the first publicity pictures of the five boys who would kick off the North American Tour (2.0)  in Durham, NC on October 30, 2010.

5 Original N.A. Tour Billys

(l-r on bench: Daniel Russell, Giuseppe Bausilio, Kylend Hetherington and Michael Dameski. Lying in front of bench: Lex Ishimoto)

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It’s November 3, 2010 and, after four nights of previews, it’s Opening Night of the Tour followed by an after party for the cast/crew.  Here, Director Stephen Daldry joins the five original tour Billys for a picture:

l-r  Kylend Hetherington, Giuseppe Bausilio, Michael Dameski, Stephen Daldry, Lex Ishimoto and Daniel Russell

l-r Kylend Hetherington, Giuseppe Bausilio, Michael Dameski, Stephen Daldry, Lex Ishimoto and Daniel Russell

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In Houston, on March 12, 2011,  former president George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Bush viewed the show and visited with the cast backstage afterward.

Credit: Photo by Billy Elliot Broadway and National Tour Facebook Group

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The Tour Visits San Francisco – June 27 to August 21, 2011

During the week before the Tour opened for what would be the longest stay of any stop on the itinerary (8 weeks) in San Francisco, the then five Billys spent the week promoting the show.

(l-r Daniel Russell, JP Viernes, Kylend Hetherington, Lex Ishimoto and Ethan Fuller)

Credit:  Two Photos Above by SHN: Broadway in San Francisco

Here the Billys show off their singing voices with their excellent rendition of the National Anthem at a San Francisco Giants game on the Friday night before the show opened in SF:

Credit: Video by pikapikax

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In July of 2012, Tour Billys  (Noah Parets and Ben Cook), ably assisted by Cameron Clifford and five of the Ballet Girls, sing the National Anthem at a Milwaukee Brewers/St. Louis Cardinals game at Miller Park Stadium in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Credit: Photo by the Marcus Performing Arts Center

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Sao Paulo, Brazil – August 2-18, 2013

After almost three years, and after completing the North American segment of the Tour, the cast/crew traveled to Brazil for a three week engagement that closed the Tour.  Here’s the venue:

Credicard Hall, Sao Paulo Brazil

Credicard Hall, Sao Paulo Brazil

A final picture of the Tour cast and crew, taken on the set in Credicard Hall, Sao Paulo.

Final Cast & Crew of BETMUS

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Editor’s Note:  Here is an excellent documentary about the creation of this tour.  It was produced by TV Channel 11, the ABC outlet in Durham, NC (where the tour kicked off in October of 2010).  The video is in three parts.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Credit: Videos by Billyfan2849

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4 Comments »

  • Ed Berger 421 says:

    Hello Porscherule
    Thank you for acknowledging my writing to you.I was astonished to see my name in headlines on Skykid. I feel like i have finally “arrived” even tho be it in my dotage. “Better Late ” Etc…
    Thanks for the encouragement to work on my “Forum” skills, it has been going well . I hope i did not sound ungrateful for the “Forum” , it is a wonderful source of information and friendly folks.
    I did submit a question to the proper area asking if anybody knew why there were no photo’s of Daniel Russell. I saw him in Tampa.He was great.May be he removed them himself .
    I’m hoping to hear that Mitchell Tobin will be doing something down here in south Florida with the Miami Ballet over the holidays if he is in the area.Also wondering if Drew Minard is in a new show yet.
    I’m happy that 2014 will bring Billy Elliot back to the stage in Ogonquit , Maine , and also St. Louis so far, but as you can see I am not even close to forgetting the “2nd Tour” cast and especially all of the “Billys” that danced and sang their hearts out for us back and forth across the country for the last two years.
    I know, things change, they have already moved on , so shall i ,but not so fast… Blame it on the dotage…
    Thanks Again, so very much,
    Ed Berger 421

    • porschesrule says:

      Ed,

      As news about the current and former Billys becomes available, it will be disseminated on the BE Forum and perhaps here at theSkyKid.com depending on its nature. My sources tell me that, while nothing is being said officially, there may be news regarding Mitchell Tobin and BETM in the near future. Stay tuned.

      Porschesrule

  • EdBerger says:

    Dear Porschesrules
    I will try to make this as short and to the point as i possibly can, but at the same time i need some space to thank you so very much for the tremendous contribution you have made to unknown numbers of ” Billy Elliot” fans the world over.I only wish i were an english professor so that i would have all of the correct words with which to express my gratitude for all that you do.
    When i first saw “Billy” in Chicago i was as moved as Elton John was when he first saw the film. I vowed to see it again.
    When I heard the tour was going to open in Durham, despite not being well, I made up my mind to drive up from Florida to be there opening day. That day became a turning point in my life.I actually went from being obsessed with my health, finances and other personal problems to a man that found something wonderfully heartwarming, breathtaking, and beautifully performed by the most wonderful people i had ever seen on a stage.
    I made up my mind then and there to see as many shows as i possibly could, which i did,enjoying all fifteen of them in many different cities, which i was amazed both my old car and i survived.
    I could never give enough thanks to each and every “Billy” who were always kind enough to let me take a photo or sign a playbill when i’m sure they were exhausted,nor to the rest of the cast including young Cal Alexander, nor to the parents who stood by patiently and proudly.
    BETM gave me a new confidence in myself to go places and do things, to live life while I can , and also introduced me to some amazing people that i will never forget . As i said to Drew Minard in Grand rapids, I had opened the show in Durham and wished i could be there for the close in Hartford, “but i wish you all the very best” .I never meant so much in such a common phrase in my life….
    Porschesrule, you are my lifeline to that wonderful part of my life.I enjoy Skykid because i can navigate it with my little computer knowledge. I joined joined” Billy Elliot Forum”, but can not for the life of me figure it out as to how or where to find a thing. I hope there is a way that we can follow the “Billys” in their new endeavors and watch them grow as entertainers and of course support their efforts by spreading the word and buying tickets whether it be a localNutcracker production or another Broadway show.
    I shall close this Tome now with another “Thank you”
    Ed Berger

    P>S> You can read my review of Alex Ko’s “From Iowa to Broadway” on Amazon if it’s still there…

    • porschesrule says:

      Ed,

      Thank you so much for all the kind words. The “Billy” articles on the SkyKid site have been my way of giving back to this tremendous show that so many have been inspired by and have come to love. Many of the articles are meant as reference type pieces that preserve the information about the show for those seeking such information for (hopefully) years to come.

      With regard to the BE Forum, I’m an active member there and would be happy to help you navigate around the site. There are many more fans of the show there making a ton of contributions — many more than I could possibly do alone in such articles as I’ve written here. Once you get used to the Forum’s format, it’s rather easy to follow everything and is truly the best way to follow the careers of many past Billy cast members.

      Thanks again for taking the time to read the material here and for your flattering comments.

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