Note: Aaron’s final show as Billy in the Diamond Head Theatre production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) in Honolulu, Hawaii, was on October 16, 2016.
Debut: 23-Sep-2016 (Honolulu, HI)
Total Performances as Billy: 18 (No partial shows)
Aaron Ostroff was 14-years-old (d.o.b. = ?-Sep-2002) when he debuted as Billy Elliot in the Diamond Head Theatre production of BETM. He is from Honolulu, HI.
While BETM was his first theater role, he brought years of dance experience to the role of Billy in the show.
Aaron’s dance training has been with the Honolulu Dance Studio where he began dancing at the age of seven. He started off with hip-hop and gradually added jazz, ballet and contemporary dance to his repertoire. He has been successful in several dance competitions. In 2015, he won the Aloha International Dance Competition in the 12-16 year old division. In 2016, he was named Teen Mr. Spotlight at the Spotlight Dance Cup National competition in Honolulu.
One form of dance that Aaron didn’t have prior to being chosen to play Billy was tap, which he has mastered for the role over the weeks leading up to the opening of the show.
Director John Rampage relates how he discovered his Billy for the Hawaiian production. He noted that he had attended a teen dance performance last year in a Kids for a Cause special.
“I was late and didn’t have a program,” Rampage said. “I got there during the second act and I saw this young man dancing by himself. I filed away the impression for the future.”
In January, having decided to stage BETM at Diamond Head Theatre, Rampage removed that file from his memory banks and contacted Ostroff. He suggested to the family that Aaron might be right for the role of Billy, despite his lack of singing or acting experience. Aaron did try out and was offered the role.
To supplement his dancing, Rampage arranged for Larry Paxton, a professor of music at the University of Hawaii-Manoa, who is deeply involved in the Diamond Head Theatre community, to work with Aaron in private vocal lessons. Aaron had the pitch and the acting talent required to carry the role, the director said. And most importantly, he had the ability to portray a boy in love with dance.
“Like Billy, Aaron has a special gift for ballet,” Rampage said. “He is just such a joy to work with, and Aaron is the most relaxed when he is dancing. I feel like this was meant to be.”
In making his debut as Billy, Aaron will be leading a cast of 35. With his debut, Aaron becomes the 161st actor in the world to star in the title role of BETM.
In an interview in his local hometown newspaper, when asked how he was feeling the day of his debut Aaron said: “I am somewhat nervous but I am super excited for all of it to be pieced together. With this role, everything sits on my shoulders.”
Note: BETM Production Photos by Brad Goda
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