Reporting Pat Ciarrocchi
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Young Billy Elliot is a dancer at heart—a ballet dancer in a British mining town, where boys fight and don’t dance.
But when the Tony Award-winning musical rolled into the Academy of Music for Max Baud, the stage crew made it feel like a homecoming.
“They said, ‘Oh, it’s Max — Broadway Baud is here.’”
The last time Max danced here it was in a lead role with the Pennsylvania Ballet’s Nutcracker. But performing Billy Elliot on the road is a different story.
“Even though you’ve done the show 200 or 300 times, for this audience it’s the first time, and you have to give 100 percent,” Baud says.
A Broadway show takes focus and discipline.
The 30-year-old Max Baud plays multiple roles in Billy Elliot: a miner worried about the government closing down the mine, and then a police officer standing down a protest in typical musical fashion.
But it’s the grown up Billy that reveals Max’s classical training–in a dream sequence to the iconic notes of Swan Lake.
“Be who you want to be and that’s okay, and we’re gonna love you for that. To me, that’s the most important message of the show,” Baud says.
And the talent and stamina of the young dancers amazes him.
“You would think there is no way these kids–aged 12 or 13–are gonna run a three hour show. And sure enough, as good or better, I’ve been blown away.”
Seven million people worldwide have been too.
Billy Elliot the musical is at the Academy of Music through Sunday. For tickets, click here.
Reported by Pat Ciarrocchi, CBS3