Great Performances brings ‘Billy Elliot the Musical Live’ to PBS

billy-elliot-the-musical-pbs Lori Acken
Billy Elliot the Musical Live at the Victoria Palace Theatre - Photographer Adam Sorenson Mandatory credit Elliot Hanna and the Ballet girls

That’s me musical!

Billy Elliot fans, get out your dresses — or your jammies, if you’re so inclined — and prepare to enjoy the rollicking, inspiring tale of a boy who wants to boogie instead of box from the comfort of your sofa.

Purchase Billy Elliot the Musical Live! at the PBS online store here!

On Friday, Oct. 23, the ten-time Tony winner Billy Elliot the Musical comes to the PBS staple Great Performances as Billy Elliot the Musical Live, part of the PBS Arts Fall Festival. (Check local listings to confirm channel number and air time in your area.)

Based on the Oscar-nominated 2000 film, and scored by Elton John, Billy Elliot the Musical tells the story of motherless boy Billy whose downtrodden, hardscrabble miner father and old brother scorn his longing to ditch boxing class for ballet class. When Billy’s undeniable talent leads to a possible future far brighter than the coal mines, his family and community learn to rally behind him.

Billy Elliot the Musical Live at the Victoria Palace Theatre – Photographer Adam Sorenson Pictured: Ballet Girls, Ruthie Henshall and Elliot Hanna

Recorded at Victoria Palace Theatre in London’s famed West End, where it premiered in 2005, this current production stars 11-year-old British dance champ Elliott Hanna in the title role, with Ruthie Henshall (Chicago) as Billy’s dance teacher, Mrs. Wilkinson; Deka Walmsley (The Pitman Painters) as Billy’s widowered coal miner dad, Jackie; veteran stage star Ann Emery as his supportive grandma; and Chris Grahamson as Billy’s elder brother, Tony.

Liam Mower — the original Billy Elliot from the show’s West End debut — returns to the show in the role of Older Billy especially for the broadcast, which also features 25 current and former Billy Elliots sharing the stage in a special finale.

Billy Elliot the Musical Live at the Victoria Palace Theatre – Photographer Adam Sorenson — Pictured: Liam Mower and Elliot Hanna

Great Performances: Billy Elliot the Musical premieres Friday, October 23 at 9/8CT on PBS.

 Also coming up on the PBS Arts Fall Festival (some titles may not be final):

LIVE FROM LINCOLN CENTER – “Danny Elfman’s Music from the Films of Tim Burton”
Friday, October 30, 9/8CT

Just in time for Halloween, composer and performer Danny Elfman descends on Lincoln Center with a symphony orchestra and choir, and a colorful assortment of Tim Burton fans. Combining film clips, sketches, storyboards and musical performances from Elfman’s most memorable collaborations with Burton — including Batman, Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands and The Nightmare Before Christmas — this is a must-see for Tim Burton fans anad performing arts fans alike.

GREAT PERFORMANCES “Chita Rivera: A Lot of Livin’ to Do”
Friday, Nov. 6, at 9/8CT

Living legend Chita Rivera has been lighting up international stages for over seventy years.  With starring roles in such iconic Broadway shows as West Side Story, Bye Bye Birdie, and Chicago, Rivera returned to the Great White Way in 2015 to star in the final John Kander/Fred Ebb/Terrence McNally musical The Visit. Featuring archival clips from Rivera’s many shows and TV appearances, this career retrospective also features interviews with Dick Van Dyke, Ben Vereen, Carol Lawrence and many more to tell the story of Rivera’s peerless show biz virtuosity.

Friday, November 13, 9/8CT

Few have captured the magic of the theatre better than Moss Hart, a poor kid from the Bronx who went on to become a lion of BroadwayThe writer of classic comedies with George S. Kaufman, including You Can’t Take it With You and The Man Who Came To Dinner, and the director of the original production of My Fair Lady, Moss’s memoir (“Act One”) has captivated theater lovers for over 50 years. In this Tony Award-nominated Best Play from Lincoln Center Theater, James Lapine has fittingly reimagined Act One for the stage, performed by a first-rate cast led by Tony Shalhoub, Andrea Martin and Santino Fontana.

Friday, November 20, 9/8CT ET

This landmark television event pays tribute to John Kander and Fred Ebb, the legendary Oscar, Emmy, Tony and Grammy-award winning songwriting team whose Broadway shows include Cabaret, Chicago, Kiss of the Spider Woman, The Act, Curtains and The Scottsboro Boys and timeless songs including  “New York, New York,” “All That Jazz,” “Money Makes the World Go Around” and “Maybe This Time.”

GREAT PERFORMANCES “Andrea Bocelli: Cinema” 
Friday, November 27, 9/8CT

Andrea Bocelli pays musical tribute to the silver screen in a lush concert of beloved songs from the movies in a performance at Hollywood’s famous Dolby Theater. Joined by Grammy-winning producer David Foster, the renowned tenor performs memorable favorites from blockbuster classics including The Godfather, Scent of a Woman, Dr. Zhivago, Once Upon a Time in America, Breakfast at Tiffany’s and many more.



  1. The official rebroadcast word from our PBS contact: “It’s up to the individual PBS stations as to whether they repeat it or not. Here in New York, 13 is indeed repeating it.” So keep an eagle eye on your local PBS station or keep checking here:

  2. It’s on right now but I didn’t catch it from the beginning so it took everything I had to change the channel. Here’s hoping for a rebroadcast.

  3. flipping through the channels last night and found myself here… thank goodness! What a treat… I was clapping and cheering all by myself in the living room 😉 Bravo to PBS, the Cast and Crew… and a special standing ovation for Elliott Hanna… just Wow!

  4. Fantastic show ! Thank you ! Will it be re-broadcast or is it available to stream at some time ?

  5. What a treat to see the musical ‘Billy Elliot.’ The movie was great but the musical, incredible. The performances, dancing, singing, a joy to behold. What a talent Billy is and the other cast members as well. Thank you all.
    Fay Barriws

  6. I saw the Broadway production of Billy Elliott when it first opened in NYC. I enjoyed it thoroughly, but enjoyed it more when I saw this PBS broadcast. With the price of theater tickets these days, it’s nice to know musical theater can be brought to the masses. I salute PBS.

  7. Thank you again! You just check off one on my bucket list!!!! Please keep up your high standards!

  8. I have been wanting to see this forever! I think if I have seen it in 1966, I would have been one of the dancer.
    Dearly loved the movie! You were on my bucket list to see. Since I married my soulmate in 1972, which really doesn’t care for musicals, but sure can dance! We have never seen a musical or broadstage play. I would just love for my granddaughter-Bethani, 11 years old,to see it. She is a super singer!

  9. I just watched the PBS viewing of Billy Elliot the Musical on Oct. 23, 2015. I knew nothing about this stage/musical production but happened to change to this channel and could not tear my eyes away. The entire cast was fantastic, and Elliott Hanna was extraordinary!!! I have been deeply touched by this experience. Thank you!

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About Lori Acken 1195 Articles
Lori just hasn't been the same since "thirtysomething" and "Northern Exposure" went off the air.