Note: Andrew Klepser‘s final show as Billy in Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) in Kalamazoo, Michigan, presented by the Civic Theatre, was on May 20, 2018.
Debut: May 4, 2018 (Kalamazoo, Michigan)
Total Performances as Billy: 10 (No partial shows)
From Portage, Michigan, Andrew Klepser was 13 years old (d.o.b. = 18-Nov-2004) and in the 7th Grade at the Portage West Middle School upon his debut as Billy Elliot in the Civic Theatre production of the musical.
Outside of performing in musical theatre, Andrew’s interests include singing (he enjoys singing with the Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus) and playing the trumpet in his school orchestra.
As far as performing, Andrew most recently appeared in the March 2018 Civic Theatre Youth Musical Seussical, Jr. in the role of a Wickersham brother.
Prior to his involvement with the Civic, Andrew has been involved in the summer productions for the Kindleberger Festivals. The Festivals, typically held in July each summer in Kindleberger Park in Parchment, Michigan, feature a week of community activities including a parade, an arts and crafts show, a car, truck and motorcycle show, a 5K run, and a children’s play and an adult play. It’s in these latter two activities that Andrew has been involved in the past. As examples of the types of plays performed during the festival, the 2018 Children’s play will be The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland and the adult play, Little Shop of Horrors.
With regard to Andrew’s starring role in the Civic’s BETM production, though it is about a boy who wants to be a ballet dancer, Andrew had never studied ballet himself before winning the role of Billy. So his biggest challenge is the intensive ballet training he’s undergoing for the role. The creative team for the show has been very surprised and happy to see how well Andrew has taken to these classes. As one theatre official has put it “you’d never guess that he’s never previously studied ballet!”
Andrew says he’s very excited to take on the role of Billy and that he’s enjoyed working with the huge cast and the friendships he’s forming as a result. When asked what he thought opening night would be like, his reply was “Awesome!”
Upon his debut, Andrew Klepser becomes the 243rd boy in the world to portray Billy in a professional, regional or community theatre production of the musical.
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