Opera House Theatre Company in Wilmington, North Carolina, presents a regional production of Billy Elliot the Musical (BETM) from August 1-18, 2019. Performances will take place at the beautiful and historic Thalian Hall.
Opera House Theatre Company (originally named Opera House Productions) was created by Lou Criscuolo, a professional actor, and Mary James Morgan, who worked at Thalian Hall, in the spring of 1985. It came about after Criscoulo had performed in two productions at the hall during the preceding two years and had fallen in love with both the hall itself and with Morgan, and following on from his positive experiences there had decided that Wilmington was ready for a professional theatre company.
The first production to be performed by the newly formed company was Cactus Flower, which opened on March 7, 1985. From then on the company went from strength to strength, with its main focus being on summer musicals. In the early 90s the company was renamed to its current name – Opera House Theatre Company – to better reflect their mission, which is to produce the best theatre possible.
The current schedule consists of a musical in February and then four back to back musicals/plays over the summer. This year’s February musical was Always … Patsy Cline. BETM is the third of the four 2019 summer productions, following 42nd Street and Five Guys Named Moe, and the season closes with Shakespeare in Love.
The Opera House Theatre Company’s production of BETM will be directed by Cathy Street, for whom this will be her first time directing for the company. One aspect of the show that she really enjoys is working with children, “I really love shows where you work with kids and adults together. The kids can do so much more than what’s usually asked of them, and I love how, when they’re working with adults, they really rise to that challenge.”
And talking of children rising to the challenge, the cast will be led by a very experienced Billy in the title role. Almost two years after he made his debut as Billy in Williamstown, NJ, Liam Redford will be taking on the role of Billy for the fifth time in a regional production of the show.
To see a complete listing of the rest of the Opera House Theatre Company cast, just click on the Cast Information button.