Note: Matthew’s final show as Billy in Billy Elliot the Musical at the Cape Cod Repertory Theatre in Brewster, MA, was on August 27, 2017.
Debut: April 22, 2016 (San Jose, CA) September 28, 2016 (Warwick, RI) November 16, 2016 (Phoenix, AZ) February 16, 2017 (Berkeley, CA) August 2, 2017 (Brewster, MA)
Total Performances as Billy: 104 (San Jose, CA = 9) (Warwick, RI = 21) (Phoenix, AZ = 37) (Berkeley, CA = 14) (Brewster, MA = 23) No partial shows
Matthew Dean is from Blossom Valley, which is a neighborhood of San Jose, California, in Santa Clara County. He lives there with his mom (Kit) and dad (Joe), and his brothers Johnny and Joey. He is a middle school student at Holy Spirit School. Matthew was 12 years old (D.O.B. = 6-Mar-2004) when he debuted as Billy in San Jose.
Matthew’s dance training, since the age of two, has been at the South Bay Dance Center, which was founded and is owned by his mother — Kit Ashleigh-Dean.
In his spare time, Matthew enjoys playing basketball and jumping on the trampoline with his two brothers.
In the past, Matthew has been a member of the California Sports Center Great Oaks competitive boys gymnastics team. He has received many awards and recognition in both dance and gymnastics. He was recently offered a ballet and jazz scholarship to the Joffrey Ballet School of New York. He was awarded the title of Junior Mr. Dance of California 2016.
While Matthew had much experience performing in front of live audiences during dance competitions, BETM in San Jose was his musical theatre debut.
For his inaugural production in San Jose, the rehearsals with the entire cast began in late March, 2016. However, Matthew and all the other young performers (Billy, Michaels, and Ballet Girls) had been rehearsing once a week since the Fall of 2015 so that when they joined the adults for the short rehearsal period, more of the production numbers would have already been taught and they would have more time to prepare.
At the CMT 2016 Cabaret night, Matthew performed “Shine” with Mary Theresa Capriles (Mrs Wilkinson) and the Ballet Girls to give a preview of their upcoming production of BETM:
Credit: Video by Joy Osborne
The CMT San Jose creative team were thrilled to have Matthew to lead their cast. Dana Zell, the managing director of CMT San Jose said, “He’s remarkable; he’s a trained ballet dancer who can do it all.”
Matthew debuted in the role of Billy in the CMT Marquee production on 22-Apr-2016, and thus became the 128th boy to do so worldwide.
Matthew then went on to play Billy for a second time, in the Ocean State Theatre Company (OSTC) production of BETM in Warwick, Rhode Island, from September 28 to October 23, 2016.
Having decided to perform BETM, OSTC contacted many theatres that had already performed the show to ask for recommendations of boys who could play Billy. Matthew then sent in video tapes of himself performing scenes from the show and dancing, and on the basis of these he was cast in the OSTC production. As Matthew lives in California, he and his dad made the 3000 mile trip to Rhode Island so that he could rehearse and perform in the show.
In the summer of 2016 Matthew found out that he had been cast in two more productions of BETM. In both cases, he would co-star with another veteran Billy.
First, from November 16 to January 1, 2017, Matthew alternated in the lead role with Seth Judice at the Phoenix Theatre in Arizona. Then as 2017 began, he shared the role of Billy with Parker Fullmore in the Berkeley Playhouse production in California, which ran from February 16 to March 25, 2017.
His record-breaking fifth and final time as Billy again brought Matthew to New England, when he starred in the Cape Cod Repertory Theatre’s production of BETM from August 2-27, 2017.
So from coast to coast and in between, many fans in the U.S. have been getting the chance to experience the triple threat talent of this young man and are all the better for it.
For more information about Matthew visit:
To The Berkeley Playhouse Main Page
To The Phoenix Theatre Main Page
To The Ocean State Theatre Main Page
To The CMT Marquee San Jose Main Page
To A Complete Listing of All BETM Articles