Charles Karel Bouley: Billy Elliot Has Stars Dancing the Red Carpet at Pantages (SLIDESHOW)
Huffington Post - almost 5 years
It's not easy being a Billy. Although one would never know it to meet one. And yes, there's more than one; there are four to be precise, each able to carry the load of the entire multi-million-dollar tour of Billy Elliot, which stops at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood, Calif. through May 13.
And each of the four have something in common with the story: they're young, they dance and sing, and that can bring about problems for a 12-year-old.
"A lot of my friends think I'm gay," a very well-spoken 13-year-old named Zach Manske told me at the cast party for the Los Angles opening, held at Delphine Hollywood in the W Hotel. He joins castmates Ty Forhan, Kylend Hetherington, and J.P. Viernes as Billy.
"I'm not, I don't identify as gay," he continued, nearly flooring me with his insight, his sense of self and direction at 13. I guess carrying a major Broadway show will do that. Like Billy, Manske likes to sing and dance. "It's weird, because I get reverse discrimination. I
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