At just 13, Dayton is Broadway bound


Dayton Tavares

A teenager from Penrith in Sydney’s west is to become the youngest ever Australian to appear on Broadway after scoring the role of Billy in the New York production of the blockbuster musical Billy Elliot.

Dayton Tavares departs Sydney within days to commence rehearsals and will make his Broadway debut in December.

To perform a leading role on Broadway is a dream for most actors, who can spend years attempting to make it to the theatrical capital of the world.

For Dayton, the dream has become a reality at just 13 years of age.

“When I got the call I was sure I was dreaming,” Dayton said.

“This is my dream come true and I am still speechless.”

Dayton performed the role of Billy in both the Sydney and Melbourne seasons of Billy Elliot, but to be given the opportunity in New York is without doubt the highest achievement of his young career.

“Playing Billy in Australia was the most amazing experience and to be playing Billy on Broadway will be incredible.”

Dayton first got into the world of dance and theatre when he saw his sisters perform at dance eisteddfods. Incredible, he has only been dancing since 2005.

“I decided to do a hip-hop class at Studio 11 in Penrith,” he said.

“That day I discovered my true passion was to dance and perform.”

Billy Elliot has become a global phenomenon, opening in London in 2005 before an Australian production was mounted in 2007. In Sydney, it ran for a year – one of only three shows in the last decade to play a season of this duration or more.

Based on the film of the same name, the musical follows the journey of a young boy raised in a small mining town who, after stumbling across a ballet class while on his way to a boxing lesson, realises that his future lies not in the boxing ring, but on stage as a dancer.

Tavares’ achievement sees him join the likes of Hugh Jackman as one of the few Australians to have played lead roles on Broadway in recent times.

The Original Creative Team were so impressed by the level of local talent from Australia that they will soon be starting another search for Australian Billys who may, like Dayton, make it on The Great White Way. If you know someone that may have what it takes send an email to [email protected]

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