Featured Film: Finding Billy

Finding Billy Joe Locarro, 2012 USA | 70 minutes

Sunday January 29th, 4pm Walter Reade Theater

Finding Billy

Introduction by director David Fernandez and Q&A with director Joe Locarro and ‘Billys’ – David Alvarez, Kiril Kulish, Trent Kowalik to follow the screenings!

Excerpt from: Finding Billy Elliot: The journey to become the famous boy

When the winner of the 2009 Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical was announced, the moment proved to be as joyful and exhilarating as it was historic. For the first time ever, the Tony Award was given to a trio of actors sharing the same role. And the three recipients happened to be teenagers making their Broadway debuts. David Alvarez, Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish played the lead in Billy Elliot the Musical at alternatingperformances, and each displayed a dizzying array of abilities in portraying a boy who defies the wishes of his father and the ridicule of his community to pursue his ballet studies.
Kulish ended their delightful acceptance speech with a message: “We want to say to all the kids out there who might want to dance, ‘Never give up.”
… Finding boys with the requisite aptitude for the role is a monumental undertaking. When casting the original Broadway company, Brennan and Team Billy traveled to seven cities over a period of eight months. They auditioned more than 2,000 boys; of those, 15 were invited to come to New York to take part in a 10-day intensive workshop led by the creative team. Eventually Alvarez, Kowalik, and Kulish were chosen. … “On a day you’re not performing, you have tutoring in the morning, ballet and acro classes, more tutoring, and then rehearsal,” says Ko. “On a show day, you have tutoring, ballet class, a warm-up, and then do the show. We also have [physical therapy and strength training] and we’re still taking voice lessons. Monday is our day off. It’s the day we really get to rest.” Corrales says that when he is no longer able to play Billy, he will resume his studies at the National Ballet School.
“I really want to keep doing ballet,” he says. But Ko sees more musicals in his future. “I love dancing, but I didn’t realize that I love singing and acting,” says Ko. “I’d love to do more. So I think I’m going to stay in New York when I’m finished with this show.”
Read the full article here.
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