Thursday, October 17, 2019
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    Meet Billy Elliot: Tanner Pflueger

    Tanner’s Final Performance as Billy in London was September 26, 2009

    Debut: September 29, 2008 (London)

    Total Performances as Billy: Unknown (Unreported data from the period he was Billy(Recorded data: 91.5 — includes 3 partial shows credited @ .5 — 83.5 in London; 8 on Broadway)

    Tanner-Pflueger-Thumb2Tanner hails from Norfolk, Nebraska and has had the distinction of playing the role both in London and on Broadway (at that point just one of  two boys to do so).

    Tanner began dancing at seven years old, studying a variety of dance styles ranging from tap to lyrical. Very soon, his dancing talent began to flourish. In the 2006/07 dance season, he was the West Coast Dance Elite Junior Champion and, at 12 years old, placed first in the Modern dance category at the Youth America Grand Prix competition YAPG .

    One of 15 boys (out of over 1500 auditioned) brought to NYC for the semi-finals in the audition process to determine who would play Billy on Broadway, Tanner was ultimately asked to star as Billy in London. His first performance on the West End was September 29, 2008.

    Just before he made his debut, Tanner was interviewed with another new Billy, Tom Holland, who had done just four performances himself. Here’s a video of that interview, including a demo of the tough Geordi accent that all the cast has to master for the show:

    Credit: Video by sleepylins

    Tanner-Signing-Autographs-at-the-Stage-Door-of-the-Imperial-Theater-NYC-150x150After about seven months of playing Billy in London, in the Spring of 2009 Tanner was asked to fill in for one of the Broadway Billys who had to have minor surgery and thus would not be able to perform for a while. Tanner’s first performance on Broadway was May 16, 2009 and his last was June 6, 2009.  In the picture to the right, Tanner signs autographs for fans at the stage door of Broadway’s Imperial Theatre after one of his eight shows there. While at home, in that June, Tanner did an interview for the Sioux City Journal newspaper in Nebraska. When asked what his plans were when his run at Billy Elliot was over, he replied “I’ll go home and be a regular kid again. I don’t know what I want to do in the future, but I’d like to at least try to keep dancing in my life.”

    After his time in the States, Tanner rejoined the West End cast, ultimately performing the role for the last time in London on September 26, 2009.

    Tanner's Final Curtain Call on 26-Sep-2009
    Tanner’s Final Curtain Call on 26-Sep-2009

    There is a surprisingly significant number of Billy Elliot the Musical stalwarts who have seen the show many times who rank Tanner as one of their top three Billys of all time. That’s high praise indeed when one considers the many extraordinary boys who have played the role.

    Shortly after he arrived home in Nebraska when his Billy days were over, Tanner delved right back into the swing of things at Nebraska Dance studio and right back into competitive dancing.  He entered and won Showbiz 2010.  Here’s a video clip of his winning performance:

    Credit: Video by BETMUK

    It’s readily apparent that Tanner’s plan to stay involved in dance throughout his life is off to a great start.

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    Life After Billy

    • In his days post BETM, Tanner enjoyed participating in a 2015 production of Billy Elliot at Music Theatre Wichita in the Ensemble as a miner. He was also the Dance Captain in that production.
    • He also took part in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway at Theatre Under the Stars: a compilation of Jerome’s works in a review show. He reported that his favorite show was the West Side Story Suite, where as A-Rab he performed the piano solo in “Cool.”
    • In December of 2017, Tanner earned a Bachelor of Performing Arts degree in Dance from the Ann Lacy School of American Dance and Entertainment at Oklahoma City University.
    • From July 23-28, 2019 was in the Ensemble of Guys and Dolls at Sacramento Music Circus.
    • Tanner is currently seeking an agent and working on his performance reel for auditions.

    For more information on Tanner Pflueger visit:

    Billy Elliot the Forum, tannerpflueger.com, Facebook, Twitter, backstage.com

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