As its logo so well illustrates, TheSkykid.com is dedicated to promoting young people in music, movies and the performing arts, which is why there is a section on the site devoted to Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM). This Lee Hall/Elton John show features a cast of about 50, half of whom are young people in their early teens or younger. It’s an amazing display of youthful talent, headlined of course by Billy himself who is played by some of the best triple-threat young actor/dancers in the world. That role alone has been characterized by Director Stephen Daldry as the most demanding role perhaps ever created for a young person, so much so that the demands of the show mandate the need for four actors to get through the typical eight show a week schedule of performances. Daldry has likened it to “playing Hamlet while running a marathon”. In the two hour and 45 minute show, Billy is on stage in all but a couple of scenes. And in much of his time on stage, he is doing major production numbers in which he needs to dance and sing, doing primarily tap, modern and ballet dancing, with some acrobatics frequently thrown in for good measure.
In addition to the occasional article about one of the productions of the show (it’s currently playing in London, Norway and The Netherlands), there are a number of articles, unlike what is typical on most blog sites, which are continually updated so as to provide up-to-date information on the show. They are meant to be reference tools for both avid fans of the show and for people looking for basic information about it.
Articles in the Billy Reference Information section of the site are:
- Meet the Billys – The articles in this category are bios of all the boys who are currently playing Billy, as well as those who have played the role in the past. These profiles can be accessed either alphabetically by last name of the actors, or by location — one each for the current and all past productions of the show. The profiles for the boys currently in the role are continuously updated with new information, photos and video as each boy progresses through his “journey” as Billy Elliot.
- Tracking the Billys – This article is devoted to maintaining a historical record of performances by the Billys in each production of the show. It features charts, which carefully list by location, date and time of show, who played the role of Billy for every performance of all the professional productions of BETM, past and present. The article also contains a running total of how many performances each Billy has played in the role. The charts are updated monthly.
- Cast Information – Again, through the use of charts, this article maintains a chronological list of actors ( by production) who play each role in the show. It lists dates of first and last performance, as well as notes on any milestones in the actors tenure in the role. The charts are updated whenever there is a change of cast for any role.
- When Did the Billys Debut? – This article features a chronological listing detailing when each actor who has portrayed Billy in all productions of the show (past and present) debuted. It is updated whenever a new Billy debuts.
- Billy Elliot Dances Around the World – This article contains a list of all past, present and planned future productions of the show. Of particular interest to fans of BETM around the United States, it includes an up-to-date itinerary of the US Tour of the show.
- Birthdays of the Billys – A list of the birthdays and ages of each of the current Billys in all current productions of the show.