Billy Elliot - Jacob Clemente to be Broadway's 9th Billy
Jacob Clemente will join the cast of the 10-time Tony Award-winning Billy Elliot - The Musical, in the role of ‘Billy.’ Clemente, who previously performed the role of ‘Tall Boy’ in Billy Elliot, will be the 9th boy to perform the role on Broadway. His first performance date will be announced soon.
Clemente's replaces Trent Kowalik, the show's last original 'Billy Elliot,' who played hos final performance on 7 Mar 2010. When Clemente's joins the cast he will alternate the role of 'Billy' with Mike Dameski, Alex Ko, Liam Redhead and Dayton Tavares.
In the press release announcing the news Clemente's says, "At 12 years old, I am the youngest Billy to take the Broadway stage! I guess you could say I was destined to play Billy because both mining and dancing are in my blood. I am named after my great-grandfather, Jacob Mandel, who went “deep into the ground” of the coal mines of Pennsylvania. My other great-grandfather, Harry Jones, was a Welsh coal miner. My dad is in the mining business, too, but I have always wanted to dance! I started when I was 7 years old and have never stopped since, even while sitting at the dinner table! Over the years, I have been lucky enough to hold such dance titles as 2007 Junior Mr. Starquest and 2008 National NYCDA Mini Outstanding Dancer. Prior to playing 'Tall Boy/Posh Boy' in this show, I had the privilege of being a 'Newsboy' on the Broadway stage in Patti LuPone’s 'Gypsy.' I knew then that I would want to do this for the rest of my life. I am very grateful to God, my dance and voice teachers, and prior directors for giving me the skills to get here. I especially want to thank my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles, brother Tory and sisters Mandy and Lydia, who have all sacrificed so that I could reach my dream to “Be Billy”.
Billy Elliot - The Musical opened at the Imperial Theatre on 13 Nov 2008, following previews from 1 Oct, where it is currently selling tickets through to 30 Jan 2011.
The show opened to excellent reviews: "everything about this production is remarkable."
(newyorktheatreguide.com); "enduring appeal" (NY Times); "irresistible new show " (NY Daily News); "head and toe-shoes above every other show this season" (NY Post); "as seriously thrilling as it is deeply lovable" (NewsDay); "Tough, intelligent, exuberant, electric, politically savvy, and fun" (Back Stage)
Set in England's North East against the background of the miners' strike - Billy Elliot is the tale of a motherless boy whose father wants him to take up boxing. Instead, the boy discovers a love for ballet that leads him from secret lessons to a place at the Royal Ballet School.
Billy Elliot - The Musical also features Kate Hennig (Mrs. Wilkinson), Philip Whitchurch (Dad), Carole Shelley (Grandma), Will Chase (Tony) and, Trevor Braun and Jake Evan Schwencke (alternating the role of Billy's friend Michael).
Billy Elliot is created by the same team that made the multi-Oscar-nominated film: writer Lee Hall, director Stephen Daldry, and choreographer Peter Darling. The musical's score is by Elton John, who also composed the music for 'The Lion King,' 'Aida' and 'Lestat.'
Billy Elliot - The Musical was a London hit when it opened at the Victoria Palace Theatre on 11 May 2005 and has been a box office hit ever since.
The London production won Three Olivier Awards: Best New Musical, Best Actor and Choreographer. It also won the Evening Standard Award for Best Musical. A production of the show opened in sydney in Dec 2007.
The Broadway production features the same creative team as the London production: Ian MacNeil (sets), Nicky Gillibrand (costumes), Rick Fisher (lighting) and Paul Arditti (sound).
The musical is produced on Broadway by Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions in association with Weinstein Live Entertainment.