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by Michael Portantiere



    GO, BILLY!

    It's only Wednesday, but this has already been and is continuing to be a week chock-full of major theatrical happenings. Yesterday afternoon, the three boys who will rotate in the title role of the upcoming Broadway production of the smash-hit London musical Billy Elliot were introduced to the press by Elton John, the show's composer. And on Monday evening, nominees for the 2008 Lucille Lortel Awards, which celebrate excellence in Off-Broadway theater, schmoozed at a cocktail party. Here are some photos from these events.

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    In the auditorium of the Professional Performing Arts high School on West 48th Street, the press and group ticket sales representatives were treated to a brief presentation for the highly anticipated Billy Elliot. The highlight of the event was Elton John's introduction of the three super-talented boys who will rotate in the coveted title role; left to right, they are Trent Kowalik, Kiril Kulish, and David Alvarez.


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    During the presentation, Elton told the crowd how much the show means to him...


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    ...and joined the boys in a special performance of one of the best songs in the score, "Electricity."


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    The Lortel Awards cocktail party was held in the Roundabout Penthouse Lounge at the American Airlines Theater. Here's Lynn Redgrave, nominated for her magnificent performance in Grace.


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    Among the other nominees on hand; Stew, star and creator of Passing Strange, with the show's co-composer, Heidi Rodewald...


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    ....Jayne Houdyshell and Brian Murray, respectively nominated for their performances in The Receptionist and Gaslight...


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    André De Shields (Black Nativity) with Donna Trinkoff, producing artistic director of Amas Musical Theatre, producers of Outstanding Musical nominee Wanda's World...


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    Composer Tom Kitt and actor Aaron Tveit, both nominated for Next to Normal...


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    ...actress Veanne Cox, nominated for Spain, and choreographer Peter Pucci, nominated for Queens Boulevard (the musical))...


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    ...and some of the team responsible for the TheatreWorks production of Seussical: associate director/choreographer Josh Walden, lyricist Lynn Ahrens, TheatreWorks artistic director Barbara Pasternack, director/choreographer Marcia Milgrom Dodge, and composer Stephen Flaherty.


    Wednesday, April 23, 2008 at 4:22 PM | Item Link


    Michael Portantiere comes to BroadwayStars with more than 30 years' experience as an editor and writer for such media outlets as TheaterMania.com, InTHEATER magazine, and BACK STAGE. He has also contributed articles and reviews to AfterElton.com, Playbill, and Stagebill, and has written notes for several major cast albums. Additionally, Michael is a professional photographer whose pictures have been published by THE NEW YORK TIMES, the DAILY NEWS, and several notable websites. (Visit www.followspotphoto.com for more information.)
    He can be reached at michael@broadwaystars.com


    The last five columns written by Michael Portantiere:

    07/13/2010: Presidential Material

    07/04/2010: Hardy Boy

    06/29/2010: High School Stars

    06/21/2010: Falling in Love Again

    06/17/2010: A Meeting of the 'mos (and Their Friends)

    For a listing of all features written by Michael, click here.

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