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Raleigh’s David Wood and Charlotte’s Sam Faulkner Will Star in NCT’s Presentation of “Billy Elliot”

Sam Faulkner of Charlotte plays young boxer-turned dancer Billy Elliot in "Billy Elliot the Musical" (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Sam Faulkner of Charlotte plays young boxer-turned dancer Billy Elliot in “Billy Elliot the Musical” (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

The Triangle’s premier professional producer of home-grown revivals of hit Broadway musicals, the North Carolina Theatre will stage Billy Elliot the Musical, the award-winning 2005 West End and 2008 Broadway musical based on the 2000 film, on Feb. 10-15 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts in the heart of downtown Raleigh, NC.

According to the press kit for NCT’s production of Billy Elliot:

“Based on the award-winning film and with a spectacular score by Elton John, Billy Elliot the Musical is the funny, heartwarming tale of a young boy with a dream, and a celebration of his triumph against the odds. Set against the historic British miners’ strike of the 1980s, the story follows Billy’s journey as a boy in a small mining town who, after stumbling across a ballet class on his way to a boxing lesson, [realizes] that his future [will be] best realized as a dancer on the stage, not a boxer in the ring.”

Billy Elliot the Musical opened in London’s West End on May 11, 2005, and is still running. It ran on Broadway from 2008 to 2012. Among many other honors, show won the 2006 Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Musical and the 2009 Tony Awards® for Best Musical and Best Book of a Musical (Lee Hall), plus the 2009 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical.

Ira David Wood III (left) and Sam Faulkner play Dad and young boxer-turned dancer Billy Elliot in "Billy Elliot the Musical" (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Ira David Wood III (left) and Sam Faulkner play Dad and young boxer-turned dancer Billy Elliot in “Billy Elliot the Musical” (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Also according to the North Carolina Theatre‘s press kit:

“Raleigh’s own Ira David Wood III will play Billy’s father. Wood is founder and executive director of Raleigh’s Theatre in the Park and a leader in the Raleigh Arts Community. Wood has previously appeared at the North Carolina Theatre in many productions including Man of La Mancha (Don Quixote), Peter Pan (Captain Hook), La Cage aux Folles (Georges), Oliver (Fagin), The Wizard of Oz (Wicked Witch), The Full Monty (Harold), and The Sound of Music (Captain Von Trapp).

Janet Dickinson will play Mrs. Wilkinson, after previously playing the role on tour with Billy Elliot. Dickinson was most recently seen in the world premiere production of Little Dancer (Mary Cassatt) at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. Dickinson’s Broadway and tour credits include Bullets Over Broadway, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, [and] Happiness at Lincoln Center and 9 to 5 The Musical. [She] received a 2008 Drama Desk Award for her role in the Off-Broadway production Forbidden Broadway’s Rude Awakening and a 2011 NYMF [New York Musical Theatre Festival] Award for Best Individual Performance in Madame X.

Sam Faulkner, a Charlotte, NC native, will step into the role of Billy after previously appearing as Billy this past summer at the Ogunquit Playhouse [in Ogunquit, ME]. Most recently, [He] was seen in NYC readings of the Broadway-bound revival of The Me Nobody Knows and appeared as Ralphie in A Christmas Story the Musical in Chicago. [He] was recently awarded the title of Teen Mr. Dance of North Carolina 2013-14.

“Also appearing [are] Jen Neuberger as Grandma, Ira David Wood IV as Tony, and Maximilien Baud as Older Billy.

Billy Elliot will be directed by Eric Woodall, a resident director of Broadway’s Mamma Mia! and a casting director with Tara Rubin Casting. Some of [his] work on Broadway shows and national tours include: Bullets Over Broadway, Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys, Big Fish, Aladdin, Young Frankenstein, and Phantom of the Opera.

“Woodall returns to North Carolina Theatre for the third time after previously directing Driving Miss Daisy and Steel Magnolias, as well as Theatre Raleigh’s August: Osage County. Choreography for the show will be based on the original by Peter Darling, recreated and adapted for this production by [Coastal Carolina University professor of Musical Theatre] Adam Pelty [of Myrtle Beach, SC].

Rounding out the cast[,in alphabetical order, are:] Paul Aguirre, David Bartlett [as George], Will Coombs [as Small Boy], Conor DeVoe, Benny Elledge [as Big Davey], Addie Ruth Fornes, Emma Rae Fornes, Nyah Gantt, Emily Gardenhire, Parker Garrison [as Tall Boy/Posh Boy], [Christine Heneghan as (Clipboard Woman)], McLaurin Hull [as Debbie], Bryan Thomas Hunt, Shari Jordan [as Mum], Brooke Lezli Kirk, Evan Lennon [as Michael], Dirk Lumbard [as Mr. Braithwaite], Charles Machalicky [as Scab/Posh Dad], Michael Mendez, Harris Milgrim, Lauren Elizabeth Neely, Joel Newsome [as Mr. Wilkinson/Pit Official/Police Sargeant], Marina Redlich, [dance captain and fight captain] Adam Sarette, Rachel Skergan, Blue Tartevet, Cady van Venrooy, Kelsey Walston [as Lesley], and Christopher Brian Williams.”

"Billy Elliot" stars (from left) Sam Faulkner as Billy Elliot, David Bartlett as George, and Evan Lennon as Michael (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

“Billy Elliot” stars (from left) Sam Faulkner as Billy Elliot, David Bartlett as George, and Evan Lennon as Michael (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

In addition to Billy Elliot (Feb. 10-15), the North Carolina Theatre‘s 2015 season includes Rick Elice’s 2011 Off-Broadway and 2012 Broadway play, Peter and the Starcatcher (March 10-15 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium), based on Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson’s 2006 novel providing a backstory for J.M. Barrie’s classic character, Peter Pan; composer Tom Kitt and lyricist and librettist Brian Yorkey’s 2009 Tony Award- and 2010 Pulitzer Prize-winning rock musical, Next to Normal (May 1-3 and 5-10 in A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater); and Alan Janes’ 1990 Broadway jukebox musical, Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story (July 21-26 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium). NCT will co-produce Peter and the Starcatcher with Broadway Series South.

SECOND OPINION: Feb. 10th Raleigh, NC ArtsNow preview by Melissa Howsam: http://artsnownc.com/2015/02/10/preview-billy-elliot-nc-theatre/; Feb. 9th Charlotte, NC Charlotte Observer preview by Lawrence Toppman: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2015/02/09/5502751/sam-faulkner-dances-into-the-future.html; and Feb. 4th Raleigh, NC ArtsNow interview with Sam Faulkner and Ira David Wood III, conducted by Valonda Calloway for “My Carolina Today”: http://www.wncn.com/story/28023887/billy-elliot-the-musical.

Janet Dickinson and Sam Faulkner as Mrs. Wilkinson and Billy Elliot in "Billy Elliot the Musical" (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

Janet Dickinson and Sam Faulkner as Mrs. Wilkinson and Billy Elliot in “Billy Elliot the Musical” (photo by Curtis Brown Photography)

The North Carolina Theatre presents BILLY ELLIOT, starring Ira David Wood III, at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10-13 and 2 and 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14 and 15 in Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., Raleigh, North Carolina 27601.

TICKETS: $37.32-$138.68 (including fees).

BOX OFFICE:

NCT Box Office: 919-831-6941, ext. 6944; nct@nctheatre.com; and http://www.nctheatre.com/2015-shows.

Ticketmaster: 800-745-3000 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115203/1106208.

GROUP RATES (10+ tickets): 919-831-6941, ext. 5204.

SHOW: http://www.nctheatre.com/shows/billy-elliot and https://www.facebook.com/events/825052334225129/, and http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/event/billy-elliot-5181. 2015 SEASON: http://www.nctheatre.com/2015-shows.

PRESENTER: http://www.nctheatre.com/, https://www.facebook.com/nctheatre, https://twitter.com/nctheatre, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_Carolina_Theatre, and http://www.youtube.com/user/nctheatre.

NCT BLOG (Stage Notes): http://www.nctheatre.com/stage-notes.

VENUE: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/venue/memorial-auditorium.

DIRECTIONS: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/directions.

PARKING: http://www.dukeenergycenterraleigh.com/parking.

NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio-describe the 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14th, performance.

OTHER LINKS:

Billy Elliot (2000 film): http://www.tcm.com/tcmdb/title/442777/Billy-Elliot/ (Turner Classic Movies), http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0249462/ (Internet Movie Database) and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Elliot (Wikipedia).

Billy Elliot the Musical (2005 West End and 2008 Broadway musical): http://billyelliotthemusical.com/ (official London website), http://www.ibdb.com/show.php?ID=475106 (Internet Broadway Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billy_Elliot_the_Musical (Wikipedia).

Elton John (music): http://www.eltonjohn.com/ (official website), http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=11938 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0005056/ (Internet Movie Database), http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elton_John (Wikipedia).

Lee Hall (lyrics and book): http://literature.britishcouncil.org/lee-hall (The British Council’s “Contemporary Writers” website), http://www.ibdb.com/person.php?id=475122 (Internet Broadway Database), and http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0355822/ (Internet Movie Database), and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lee_Hall_%28playwright%29 (Wikipedia).

Eric Woodall (New York City-based NCT guest director): http://www.broadwayworld.com/people/Eric-Woodall/ (BroadwayWorld.com bio), http://ibdb.com/person.php?id=90124 (Internet Broadway Database), http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0940106/ (Internet Movie Database), and https://www.facebook.com/eric.woodall.98 (Facebook page).

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Robert W. McDowell has written articles for The News & Observer, The Raleigh Times, Spectator Magazine, CVNC, and Triangle Arts and Entertainment, all based in Raleigh. He edits and publishes two FREE weekly e-mail newsletters. Triangle Review provides comprehensive, in-depth coverage of local performing-arts events. (Start your FREE subscription by e-mailing robertm748@aol.com and typing SUBSCRIBE TR in the Subject: line.) McDowell also maintains a FREE list of movie sneak previews. (To subscribe, e-mail robertm748@aol.com and type SUBSCRIBE FFL FREE in the Subject: line.)

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