Note: Myles’s Final Performance as Billy on Broadway was November 13, 2011
Debuts: October 17, 2010 (Chicago) September 24, 2011 (Broadway)
Total Performances as Billy: 89.5 [Chicago/Toronto = 74.5 (includes 1 partial show credited @.5)] [Broadway = 15]
Myles Erlick, of Burlington, Ontario, Canada debuted as Billy in Chicago on Sunday, October 17, 2010, becoming the 6th boy to play the role in the Chicago production of the show. Myles replaced originating Billy, Tommy Batchelor. He was the fourth student of Canada’s National Ballet School (NBS) to play Billy, following in the footsteps of Liam Redhead (formerly in the Broadway production), Cesar Corrales and Marcus Pei (both formerly in the Toronto production).
Myles, (D.O.B: 27-Jul-1998), first got interested in performing at three-years-old when he began attending the Stars Academy for the Performing Arts, in his hometown, a school owned and operated by his mom, Franci Nicassio, who has been his guiding light during his early years of development in the performing arts. Myles began with dance and music classes and later added vocal and drama to his studies. He began entering dance competitions at the age of four and won the titles of Mr. Mini Dance Canada in 2007 and Mr. Jr. Dance Canada in 2009. His training has also included Jazz, lyrical and Acro and especially classical ballet.
Myles had prior theatrical experience on his resume as well, having performed in several local and regional musicals including Annie Jr., High School Musical, Beauty and the Beast, and Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat. He made his professional acting debut as a child of Avonlea in the Toronto production of Anne of Green Gables in May of 2009.
Like many of the other boys who play Billy, Myles is also musically gifted and plays piano, acoustic guitar, drums, and harmonica.
Myles auditioned and was accepted at the prestigious NBS for the 2009-2010 school year. While there he met fellow students there from all over the world saying, “Ballet has no language barrier, it is universal.” In December of 2009, Myles appeared in the school’s production of the Nutcracker, dancing the roles of a chef, a rich boy and a guard in the show’s ensemble.
Like most of the other Billys, for Myles the audition process for BETM was long and arduous. It began in early 2009, when Myles, then age 10, attended an open audition in Toronto. He was the youngest and smallest of the 10 boys who tried out that day. Like many others after that initial tryout, Myles wouldn’t hear a word for some time from the BETM creative people.
Credit: Photo by Joan Marcus
From here we’ll follow the story from his official BETM bio: “In 2010, after a surprise call from children’s casting agent Nora Brennan, Myles was invited to once again audition for Billy Elliot The Musical. He attended the Toronto audition, this time with some insight, after he closely followed the stories of the boys cast in New York and Chicago and fell in love with the movie that he watched several times. The audition ran about 12 hours over 2 days. He was then invited to New York for five more days where he and nine other boys had intense auditions in dance, vocals, gymnastics and acting.”
After a long period of no news, Myles came home from school one day to find out he had landed the biggest role of his career to date. He had been cast to play the title role in Billy Elliot The Musical – Chicago.” About that audition process, Myles says ““It was nerve-wracking but I just did my best. Sometimes it’s good to be nervous, it keeps you on your toes.”
Of the ten boys in the picture (above) taken at the 5-day intensive audition in NYC in early 2010, six boys who would play Billy in one of the North American productions of the show were chosen (front row: from left – Peter Mazurowski (Broadway), Lex Ishimoto (North American Tour) and (first from right) Myles Erlick (Chicago/Toronto/Broadway). In the second row starting third from the left: Kylend Hetherington (North American Tour), Joseph Harrington (Broadway) and (first from the right) Marcus Pei(Chicago/Toronto).
In July of 2010, Myles and his mom, along with 11-month-old brother Kingsley, packed up and headed to Chicago. Myles finished up three months of training and rehearsals in the Windy City, which prepared him to debut in the role. His curricula included fine-tuning the singing, tap, jazz, ballet, gymnastics, choreography, script memorization and practicing speaking/singing with a northern England Geordie accent, all the skills a Billy needs to perform the role. Credit: Photo by Joan Marcus
Myles says that, unlike Billy Elliot, he has always had plenty of support from his family and friends as he’s pursued his love of dance and performing. When he originally made his debut as Billy in October of 2010 in Chicago, sitting in the audience were some of those friends and family, including his mom, stepdad Ryan Marshall and older brother Tyson.
Fast forward to March of 2011, after the show had been playing for a little over a month in Toronto: Myles was asked if he saw differences between being in the show in Chicago and Toronto. He replied, “To me, the difference is that this is my hometown. It’s really cool to be able to perform for my friends and family.” At that time he said he was enjoying the Toronto audiences. “It’s a brand new crowd and we’re getting a lot different reaction,” said Erlick. “There are a lot more laughs.”
Despite the difference in the support he’s received compared to the character he portrays in the show, Myles says there are lots of similarities between him and Billy. Not the least of those comes out in Myles’ favorite number from the show, Electricity. As the words to the song go…
“It’s like that there’s a music, playing in your ear
And I’m listening, and I’m listening, and then I disappear
And then I feel a change, like a fire deep inside
Something bursting me wide open, impossible to hide
And suddenly I’m flying, flying like a bird
Like Electricity, electricity Sparks inside of me, and I’m free, I’m free?”*
As Myles puts it, that’s how both he and Billy feel when they dance, ““Me and Billy, we are alike because he loves to dance as much as I do.”
And then, a new challenge as Myles moved from the closed Toronto production to arguably the biggest stage in the world — that of Broadway. Myles made his debut on the Great White Way at the matinee performance on Saturday, September 24, 2011 where he performed the role of Billy 14 more times before his last show on November 13, 2011. In all, he played his dream role of Billy 89.5 combined in Chicago, Toronto and New York.
*Lyrics from the Billy Elliot the Musical song, Electricity, words by Lee Hall and music by Sir Elton John.
Credit: Photo by Joan Marcus
For More Information on Myles Erlick, visit: