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Interview by Gemma Wilson
Photograph by Jenny Anderson
Broadway.com
December 2, 2010

 

Age & Hometown: 11. Cincinnati, OhioBilly Elliot as one of five rotating title stars.not do it.” After his first audition in Chicago, he was the last Billy standing—but he was only eight. Three years, countless auditions and one stint in “Billy Camp” later, he was ready to take center stage. As for the character’s notoriously difficult Geordie brogue, Harrington says with a laugh, “I learned the Billy lines with the accent, so now I don’t even know how to say them in an American accent!”

Current role: Tapping into Broadway’s

Becoming Billy: At 11, Harrington is the youngest actor to play Billy Elliot on Broadway, and that may be because he and Billy have one very important thing in common: “I just really, really, really love to dance,” the rising Broadway star says. “I can’t

Forever Young: Being too young is the story of Harrington’s life. At three, he was “dancing in the aisles” at big sis Allix’s dance competitions, though he wasn’t allowed to compete himself until age five. When waiting to grow into Billy, he made his Broadway debut in How the Grinch Stole Christmas one year and traveled to Nashville with the Radio City Christmas Spectacular the next. His mother describes him as “11 going on 30,” (which is why she lets him watch his favorite show, How I Met Your Mother) but show-biz life can be challenging. “Sometimes I miss sleeping in my own bed,” he admits, “and I haven’t had a real house in a little while, but I get to be on Broadway and that’s pretty cool.”

The Gift of Dance: In his down time, Harrington indulges in his favorite pastime: choreography. “I like using props,” he explains. “I’ll use anything—right now I like using the stepladder we used to put up the curtains in our apartment.” What may seem like dance overload isn’t surprising from a kid known for giving away his Christmas gifts. “I don’t wanna play with a toy, I wanna dance,” he says. “Maybe I’ll ask for an iTunes gift card when I need new songs, but that’s about it.” Could anything tear him away from life as a dancer? Harrington admits he wouldn’t say no to his own show on Nickelodeon. “It would be like The Suite Life of Zach and Cody,” he says with a flourish, “but cross out ‘Zach and Cody’ and write ‘Joseph!’”

© 2011 Broadway.com, Inc.

 

Related Articles:  Young dancer bound for Broadway
                           Building an Army Of Billy Elliots
                           The Boy Ballet Dancer

 

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