Broadway and West End Smash Billy Elliot the Musical Live Leaps on to THIRTEEN's Great Performances Friday, October 23 at 9 p.m. on PBS

Elton John and Lee Hall's adaptation of the acclaimed 2000 film, written by Hall and directed by Stephen Daldry, won multiple awards on both sides of the Atlantic, including 10 Tony Awards

NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2015 — (PRNewswire) —  Billy Elliot the Musical Live, the long-running hit both on Broadway and in London's West End (where it is still playing), comes to THIRTEEN's Great Performances Friday, October 23 at 9 p.m. on PBS. (Check local listings.) The acclaimed musical airs as part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival.

"Great Performances" logo, courtesy: WNET New York Public Media

Recorded at the show's West End home at the Victoria Palace Theatre, the show has been dazzling audiences in London since it opened in 2005, and has gone on to captivate audiences across five continents, winning more than 80 theater awards globally including 10 Tony Awards®.

The cast is led by West End and Broadway star Ruthie Henshall in the role of Billy's dance teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson, Deka Walmsley who plays Billy's dad Jackie, Ann Emery in the role of Grandma and Chris Grahamson in the role of Billy's elder brother Tony. Elliott Hanna (11) plays the role of Billy Elliot, Zach Atkinson (13) the role of Michael and Demi Lee (11) the role of Debbie.

Billy Elliot the Musical Live features Liam Mower, who returns to the show in the role of Older Billy for the broadcast. Mower was the first boy ever to play the role of Billy Elliot on stage in 2005. In addition, 25 current and former Billy Elliots unite on stage in a specially choreographed mash-up finale.

Set in a mining town in the north of England against the background of the 1984-85 miners' strike, "Billy Elliot" is the inspirational story of a young boy's struggle against the odds to make his dream come true. Billy stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class where he discovers a passion for dance that inspires his family and whole community and changes his life forever.

The musical program follows:

  • "The Stars Look Down" – Company
  • "Shine" – Ballet Girls, Mrs. Wilkinson, Billy & Mr. Braithwaite
  • "Grandma's Song" – Grandma
  • "Solidarity" – Ballet Girls, Billy, Mrs. Wilkinson, Miners & Police
  • "Expressing Yourself" – Billy, Michael, and Ensemble
  • "The Letter" – Mrs. Wilkinson, Mum and Billy
  • "Born to Boogie" – Mrs. Wilkinson, Billy, and Mr. Braithwaite
  • "Angry Dance" – Billy & Male Ensemble
  • "Merry Christmas, Maggie Thatcher" – Tony and Partiers
  • "Deep Into the Ground" – Dad
  • "Swan Lake" – Billy and Billy Older Self
  • "He Could Be a Star" – Dad and Tony
  • "Electricity" – Billy
  • "Once We Were Kings" – Company
  • "The Letter – Reprise" – Mum and Billy
  • Finale – Company

Billy Elliot the Musical Live is presented in London by Universal Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions in association with Tiger Aspect and is based on the Universal Pictures/ Studio Canal film.

This production involves the multiple award-winning creative teams behind the film including writer Lee Hall (book and lyrics), director Stephen Daldry, and choreographer Peter Darling, joined by Elton John who composed the show's score. The production features scenic design by Ian MacNeil, the associate director is Julian Webber, costume design is by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Martin Koch. The show is produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Jon Finn and Sally Greene. Angela Morrison and David Furnish are executive producers.

For Great Performances, Bill O'Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer. 

Great Performances is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET, and is funded by the Anne Ray Charitable Trust, Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, Rosalind P. Walter, The Agnes Varis Trust, The Starr Foundation, The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Jody and John Arnhold, the Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, The "Sonny" Turner Fund For Dance, and PBS. 

Visit Great Performances Online at  www.pbs.org/gperf for additional information about this and other programs.

About WNET
As New York's flagship public media provider and the parent company of THIRTEEN and WLIW21 and operator of NJTV, WNET brings quality arts, education and public affairs programming to over 5 million viewers each week. WNET produces and presents such acclaimed PBS series as Nature, Great Performances, American Masters, PBS NewsHour Weekend, Charlie Rose and a range of documentaries, children's programs, and local news and cultural offerings available on air and online. Pioneers in educational programming, WNET has created such groundbreaking series as Get the Math, Oh Noah! and Cyberchase and provides tools for educators that bring compelling content to life in the classroom and at home. WNET highlights the tri-state's unique culture and diverse communities through NYC-ARTS, Reel 13, NJTV News with Mary Alice Williams and MetroFocus, the multi-platform news magazine focusing on the New York region. WNET is also a leader in connecting with viewers on emerging platforms, including the THIRTEEN Explore App where users can stream PBS content for free.

About PBS Arts Fall Festival
Billy Elliot the Musical Live is part of the fifth PBS Arts Fall Festival, an eight-week series hosted this fall by Grammy Award-winning international music superstar Gloria Estefan. Friday nights from October 9 to November 27, 2015, the Fall Festival features legendary artists, dazzling musical performances and captivating entertainment, including a UNITY Latin tribute to Michael Jackson's music, and complementary digital content. PBS Arts is a cornerstone of the Friday primetime lineup, reaching more than 15 million viewers last season and underscoring PBS' ongoing commitment to give audiences the best of the arts on-air and online. Most programs will be available online at http://video.pbs.org/ after their broadcast premiere. For more, visit http://pressroom.pbs.org/ .

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