For the second time in the recent past, the Gallo Center for the Arts will host a Modesto Performing Arts production of Billy Elliot The Musical (BETM). The production will run from June 17-25, 2023. Those two organizations had successfully mounted a BETM production in 2017 and, due to its popularity back then, decided to do an encore production this year.
Modesto, California is a community of about 218,000 people, just under 100 miles southeast of San Francisco (about 1.5 hrs drive). It’s also just under 60 miles west of Yosemite National Park.
Modesto Performing Arts (MPA) is Modesto’s oldest community theater company. Now in its 55th year, MPA was created by Paul Tischer in 1968; Paul remains as the organization’s Director. MPA was originally called Modesto Youth Theater and was based at Modesto High School, where Paul taught drama for 45 years. When the Gallo Center for the Arts opened in the fall of 2007 in Modesto, MPA became one of the Center’s six resident companies. Others include Central West Ballet (CWB), Modesto Community Concerts Association, Modesto Symphony Orchestra, Townsend Opera, and YES Company. Since the opening of the Center, MPA has performed most of its shows there in the Foster Family Theater, which is the smaller of Gallo’s two performance facilities.
Since BETM was presented in 2017, Modesto Performing Arts has staged some large shows including:
- 2022 – A Chorus Line, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
- 2021 – West Side Story, A Christmas Carol
- 2019 – Annie, Newsies, Babes in Toyland
- 2018 – Grease, Jekyll and Hyde, It’s A Wonderful Life
The 2023 version of BETM is one of two announced shows to be mounted by the Modesto Performing Arts organization. The other show, during the holiday season, will be Irving Berlin’s White Christmas.
Billy Elliot The Musical
Modesto Performing Arts will open its 55th anniversary summer with a production of Billy Elliot The Musical. It will feature a cast of 34, which is being led by Trent Brouillette, playing the title role of Billy for the first time.
Though auditions for the majority of the cast didn’t take place until early March, Trent was cast earlier in anticipation of the amount of work he’d need to put in to play the title role. So he began working with the show’s choreographer, Isabella Duran-Soriano, in January.
Full cast rehearsals began on May 5, 2023.
To see a complete listing of the rest of the MPA cast, just click on the Cast Information button.