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The 5 Faces of Billy Elliot

January 19, 2012

At the center of “Billy Elliot” is a young boy. Actually, five young boys. Cincinnati will see a quintet of multiple-threat singers/dancers/actors as they alternate performances in the national tour of “Billy Elliot the Musical” during its two-week run at the Aronoff Center.

Based on the feel-good British film (2000), young Billy Elliot defies the wishes of his widowed father and the ridicule of his coal-mining community to pursue his ballet studies.

Cincinnati will have five Billys because the show is on a constant cycle. Zach Manske will be making his debut in Cincinnati as Lex Ishimoto finish his “Billy Elliot” run. Also filling the title role are Ty Forhan, Kylend Hetherington and J.P. Viernes. The boys range in age from 12 to 15.

It takes an impressive array of abilities to play Billy. A young actor is onstage for the better part of three hours, and he sings, acts, speaks in Northern English dialect, does gymnastics, and taps, hip-hops and performs classical ballet. Read More