Note: Noah’s last show as Billy was at the Ogunquit Theatre on July 26, 2014.
Debuts: July 1, 2012 (North American Tour – Louisville, KY) June 25, 2014 (Regional Production at Ogunquit Playhouse, ME)
Total Performances as Billy: 117 [North American Tour = 93 (includes 2 partial shows credited @ .5 ea)] [Regional Production at Ogunquit Playhouse, ME = 24]
Noah Parets (D.O.B 3-May-1999) hails from Sharon, Massachusetts, where he lives with his mom and stepdad (Robyn and Joel). With his debut in Louisville, Kentucky on Sunday, July 1, 2012, he became the 11th boy to play Billy on the North American tour and the 66th in the world to play the role.
On 19-Sep-2011, Noah had his first audition for the role of Billy in New York City. Like many of the boys who have played Billy in the US, that was followed by a period where nothing happened — silence from the BETM creative team. Then in January of 2012, Noah was asked to attend a call-back audition — a second look — and it was then that he and his family began to realize that he was on a short list of boys under serious consideration for the role. He soon after found out that he would, indeed, be Billy on the North American tour.
For several months, Noah prepared for the dream role of his young life. During his preparations, he spent time travelling with the tour, becoming familiar with the production’s rhythms and with its cast and crew, while also working on his dancing and stamina with the current Billys. His training was intensified in May and June of 2012 when he spent five weeks in New York City working with creative staff there who have a long association with BETM.
Prior to his involvement with BETM, Noah got his dance training beginning at the age of seven at Heidi Miller’s School of Dance in Walpole, Massachusetts. Originally, he enrolled in tap and jazz classes, but his teacher there encouraged him to also take ballet. He wasn’t thrilled about the ballet at first, but came to fall in love with it as time went on. Later he moved on to classes at The Gold School in Brockton, MA. While there, he garnered several accolades for his dancing, including being named the 2011 Junior Male Dancer of the Year. Here’s his winning performance:
Credit: Video by TheGOLDSchool
Parents of the boys who become Billy in the show play a major role in their success. Beyond the nurturing and support of any parent for their children while they’re growing up, for children who dance or do theatre, parents support the child by taking them back and forth to dance/performing arts classes, rehearsals and shows. But once they become part of the North American productions of the show (Broadway, Chicago, Toronto and the US/CA Tour) a guardian, most often a parent, must live with the Billy at the location of the show or, in the case of the tour, must travel with him. In Noah’s case, that task fell to his mom, Robyn, who decided to document the journey with a blog called Away From OM: Tales from the Road. While perusing that blog, one may note that there’s a section called “Noah’s Posts”. It is very common for the boys who play Billy to have a variety of talents besides dancing and performing. For example, many play instruments (the piano being the most popular). One of Noah’s other talents is obviously writing, as can be seen by reading his post on that site called “Choices“.
After debuting as Billy, Noah was expected to do his share, along with the rest of the cast, of promoting the show as it traveled from city to city. When the production reached his “stomping grounds” in Boston, Noah and Rich Hebert (who plays “Dad” in the show) were asked to sing the National Anthem before 37,000 people at a Red Sox game played at the famed Fenway Park on August 8, 2012. Not a bad gig for two Massachusetts boys.
As Noah prepared to leave his “normal” life and begin his Billy journey, he spent part of his last day of 7th grade at his school, the Sharon Middle School, doing what he loves best — dancing. Noah performed an improv contemporary dance number in the school’s talent show just a few days before leaving the school for his Billy journey.
It was fitting that, as the only Tour Billy from New England, Noah would perform for the 93rd and final time as a Tour Billy on Sunday, June 23, 2013 in New England — Hartford, CT, at the Bushnell Center for the Performing Arts — which was the last stop in North America for the tour.
But this wasn’t to be the end of his Billy journey. There was to be more to come. In the summer of 2014, Noah was named to the cast of the regional production of BETM being mounted at the Ogunquit Playhouse in Maine. There, he would alternate performances with a brand new Billy, Sam Faulkner. Noah did 24 more performances as Billy at Ogunquit between June 25 and July 26, 2014.
And that still wasn’t to be his last show as Billy Elliot. It was announced that Noah would be the sole Billy in the cast of a regional production of the show at two California theaters in 2015. The first of these is a the La Mirada Theatre from January 16 to February 8, 2015, to be followed by a short run at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, CA from February 20-22, 2015.
Editor’s Note: On Saturday, 10-Jan-2015, while in rehearsal for the La Mirada show, Noah broke his arm. He has had to withdraw from the show there and has been replaced by former North American Tour castmate Mitchell Tobin.
We wish Noah a speedy recovery and hope to see him in another artistic endeavor very soon.
For more information about Noah Parets, visit: