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BILLY ELLIOT TO STAR RALEIGH’S OWN IRA DAVID WOOD, III AND CHARLOTTE NATIVE SAM FAULKNER

RALEIGH, NC – North Carolina Theatre (NCT), the region’s premier producer of professional Broadway shows, is excited to announce that Raleigh’s own Ira David Wood, III has been cast in Billy Elliot alongside talented young Charlotte teen Sam Faulkner in the title role of “Billy.” David will play Billy’s father. NC Theatre’s original production of Billy Elliot will run February 10 – 15, 2015 at Raleigh Memorial Auditorium in the Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.

Ira David Wood, III is Founder and Executive Director of Theatre in the Park and a leader in the Raleigh Arts Community. In fact, on November 13th, Wood will receive the state’s highest civilian honor, “The North Carolina Award”, in recognition of his contributions to fine arts in the state. On stage, he is best known as “Scrooge” in his own musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol, which celebrates its 40th year of consecutive production this December. Wood has previously appeared at NC Theatre in Man Of La Mancha (Don Quixote), Funny Girl (Flo Ziegfeld), Peter Pan (Captain Hook), La Cage aux Folles (Georges), Oliver (Fagin), The Wizard of Oz (Wicked Witch), The Full Monty (Harold), Grease (Mrs. Lynch), and The Sound Of Music (Captain Von Trapp).

Stepping into the role of “Billy” will be Charlotte, NC native Sam Faulkner. He previously appeared as “Billy” this past summer at the Ogunquit Playhouse.  Most recently, Sam was seen in NYC readings of the Broadway-bound revival of The Me Nobody Knows and has appeared as “Ralphie” in A Christmas Story the musical in Chicago. Sam began dancing at age nine, winning many awards including the title of Teen Mr. Dance of North Carolina 2013-2014.Sam Faulkner Dance 2

Directing the show will be Eric Woodall He is a Resident Director of Broadway’s Mamma Mia! and a casting director with Tara Rubin Casting. Some of Eric’s Broadway shows and national tours include: Bullets Over Broadway, Billy Elliot, Jersey Boys, Big Fish, Aladdin, Young Frankenstein, and Phantom of the Opera.  This will be Woodall’s third time directing at North Carolina Theatre, previously directing Driving Miss Daisy and Steel Magnolias, as well as Theatre Raleigh’s August: Osage County. Woodall is a Benson, North Carolina native.

Based on the award-winning film and with a spectacular score by Elton John, Billy Elliot is the funny, heartwarming tale of a young boy with a dream, and a celebration of his triumph against the odds. Set against the historic British miners’ strike of the 1980s, the story follows Billy’s journey as a boy in a small mining town who, after stumbling across a ballet class on his way to a boxing lesson, that his future is best realized as a dancer on the stage, not a boxer in the ring. The Broadway production of Billy Elliot ran from 2008 – 2012 and received 10 Tony Awards including “Best Musical” and was named Time Magazine‘s “Best Musical of the Decade.” Billy Elliot first opened in the London’s West End in 2005 where it still runs today.

**Parental Advisory: Due to strong adult language BILLY is not recommended for children under 10**

 For tickets to NC Theatre’s production of BILLY ELLIOT, visit NCTheatre.com or call Ticketmaster at 800-745-3000. For groups of 10 or more, call 919-831-6941 x5204. Also coming up this season: Nice Work If You Can Get It, January 20-25, 2015; Peter and the Starcatcher, March 10-15; Next to Normal, May 1-10, 2015; and The Buddy Holly Story, July 21-26, 2015.


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