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GREAT PERFORMANCES: Billy Elliot The Musical Live

Airs Friday, October 23, 2015 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Ruthie Henshall and Elliott Hanna in “Billy Elliot The Musical Live” on GREAT...

Credit: Courtesy of Adam Sorenson

Above: Ruthie Henshall and Elliott Hanna in “Billy Elliot The Musical Live” on GREAT PERFORMANCES.

“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 on PBS. The acclaimed musical airs as part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival. 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®.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Adam Sorenson

Elliott Hanna and Ruthie Henshall and girls in “Billy Elliot the Musical Live” on GREAT PERFORMANCES.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Adam Sorenson

Elliott Hanna and Demi Lee in “Billy Elliot The Musical Live” on GREAT PERFORMANCES.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Adam Sorenson

Liam Mower and Elliott Hanna in “Billy Elliot The Musical Live” on GREAT PERFORMANCES.

Photo credit: Courtesy of Adam Sorenson

Elliott Hanna and Ruthie Henshall in “Billy Elliot The Musical Live” on GREAT PERFORMANCES.

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.

“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.

Past episodes of GREAT PERFORMANCES are available for online viewing. GREAT PERFORMANCES is on Facebook, and you can follow @GPerfPBS on Twitter.

Billy Elliot The Musical Live - Electricity

Elliott Hanna (age 11) plays the role of Billy Elliot in "Billy Elliot The Musical Live." In this excerpt of the scene of his big audition for the Royal Ballet School, he attempts to explain to the judging panel and to his own father what dance means to him.

Billy Elliot The Musical Live - Solidarity

The themes of ballet, the coal miners' strike and community tension with the police fill "Solidarity," an ensemble number in "Billy Elliot The Musical Live."

Billy Elliot The Musical Live - Preview

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