Local Teen Wins Tony for ‘Billy Elliot'

Kiril Kulish one of three teen performers selected for strenuous role

A local boy was one of three teenaged performers honored with a Best Actor Tony for the strenuous starring role in "Billy Elliot" on Broadway.

San Diego teenager Kirl Kulish, 14, along with Montreal born David Alvarez and  Trent Kowalik from New York, was honored with a best performance for a leading actor in a musical at the 2009 Tony Awards on Sunday.

Kulish was one of three teens selected after a yearlong national talent search that drew over 1,500 hopefuls from all over the U.S.

"The part of Billy Elliot is unlike any other in the history of musical theatre, requiring a remarkable range of talents: ballet, tap, street dance, singing, acting, dialect and gymnastics," according to the


. The need for three actors to play the part of Billy Elliot is necessary because of how strenuous the role is.

"The role is the largest child's role in muscial theatre and one of the largest roles of any age ... it's the role's sheer size and the stamina required that necessitates this unique triple-casting," according to the Guide.

The Broadway musical is based on the wildly successful film "Billy Elliot," which is the story of a boy who discovers he has a special talent for dance  while the boys around him are more interested in boxing.

Kulish is the youngest member ever admitted to the San Diego Academy of Ballet's junior company, according to the New York Theatre Guide. Equally accomplished in classical piano and Latin and ballroom dancing, he has won numerous awards in all the disciplines.

Contact Us