Note: Brandon is currently appearing as Billy at the Media Theatre (PA), 18-Nov-2015 to 3-Jan-2016.
Debut: 23-Jul-2015 (Patchogue, LI, NY) 19-Nov-2015 (Media Theatre, PA)
Performances To Date: 34 (As of 31-Dec-2015)(Media = 24 — Patchogue = 10) (No partial shows)
Brandon Ranalli was 12-years-old (D.O.B. = 11-Nov-2002) upon his debut as Billy and hails from Media, PA, a suburb of Philadelphia. Brandon made his professional debut in Billy Elliot at Patchogue Theatre on Long Island, New York. His training has included serving as the understudy to Mitchell Tobin’s Billy at Music Theatre Wichita in July, 2015. Brandon went on alternate playing the role with Mitchell at Patchogue.
He is a middle school student at the Center for the Performing and Fine Arts where he studies acting, musical theatre, voice, and piano. He also studies dance at Broadway Bound Dance Academy and the Academy of International Ballet.
In this video featuring Brandon’s ballet performance in the Youth America Grand Prix (YAGP) 2015 Philadelphia, PA semi-finals competition, he is shown performing O Fortuna.
Credit: Video by vamproductions
While ballet is Brandon’s main passion, he is trained in many areas of dance. To illustrate another of the skills a Billy must have to play the role, Brandon performed a tap duet with long time friend and dance partner Dale Zimmerman on America’s Got Talent and made it to the semifinal round in Las Vegas. Here’s some video footage that displays his tap skills at age 10 in the Revolution Talent Competition in Sewell, NJ on April 2014.
Credit: Video by Donna Ranalli
He has won the Hope Award at the YAGP Semi Finals in Philadelphia, and is currently Star Dance Alliance’s Junior National Mr. World Dance. He was the High Score Soloist at the March, 2015 New York City Dance Alliance (NYCDA) competition.
Nora Brennan, the Children’s Casting Director for many of the BETM shows in North America, including Broadway and the North American Tour, first became acquainted with Brandon’s skills when, at age nine, he auditioned to be Billy in the Tour production. Though she was impressed with him, he was too young, then, for the show and the Tour closed before he grew into the role.
Nora called in January, 2015 and said that Steven Minning and Alison Levenberg, who were heading the creative teams for Music Theatre Wichita and Gateway Playhouse at the Patchogue Theatre productions of BETM this past summer, had asked Nora to do a nationwide search for a second Billy to perform with Mitchell Tobin over the summer. Brandon would understudy the role in Wichita before sharing it with Mitchell at Patchogue. Nora told the creatives she could do that, but that she already knew the boy she felt they would want and suggested they bring him in for a private audition. Then, if they weren’t satisfied, she would do a search. It turns out they were very happy with Brandon and, after auditioning in NYC for them, he was hired without them looking for anyone else.
After getting valuable training in Wichita and soaking up all that the very experienced Mitchell Tobin was able to share with him, Brandon debuted as Billy at the Patchogue Theatre in Long Island, NY on 23-Jul-2015. He thus became the 103rd boy to professionally debut in the role worldwide.
Even before Brandon and his family knew about how he would spend his summer in Wichita and Long Island, it had been announced that the Media Theatre in his hometown would also be doing a production of BETM in the Fall of 2015. While Brandon was in NYC, training for the Wichita and Gateway BETM productions, he auditioned for the Media Theatre production, which, it turns out, was in the room right next to where he was rehearsing at the Ripley Greer studios in NY.
Shortly after, it was announced that Brandon would be sharing the role of Billy again in Media (with Gunar Daniels who also auditioned in NYC for the role at the same time as Brandon), from November 18, 2015 to January 3, 2016.
After a warm up in the second preview at the Media Theatre, Brandon performed as Billy in the Opening Night/Press Night show at the Media Theatre on 20-Nov-2015.
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