Philip Whitchurch Joins BILLY ELLIOT as Dad Thru May; Jbara Takes Leave of Absence


Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Working Title Films and Old Vic Productions in association with Weinstein Live Entertainment announced today that Philip Whitchurch will join the cast of the 10-time Tony Award-winning Billy Elliot the Musical in the role of ‘Dad.' Tony Award-winner Gregory Jbara will be taking a leave of absence.

Whitchurch, who previously played ‘Dad' in the UK production of Billy Elliot, will be making his Broadway debut. His first performance will be Tuesday, January 26, 2010 and he will continue in the role through Sunday, May 2, 2010. Jbara will resume the role on Tuesday, May 4, 2010.

PHILIP WHITCHURCH (Dad):Theatre: Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace), A View From a Bridge (Queens Theatre), Summerfolk & Women of Troy (National Theatre), Tis Pity She's a Whore (Young Vic), Inspector Calls (Garrick Theatre), The Changing Room (Duke Of York Theatre), Keeping Body and Soul Together & Othello (Lyric, Hammersmith). Film: Einstein & Eddington, Beowulf & Grendel, Wondrous Oblivion, Three Blind Mice, Punchbag, Shot Through the Heart, Treasure Island, The English Patient, Blue Ice, To Kill a Priest, Half Moon Street and Defence of the Realm. Television: "Waking the Dead," "Blue Murder," "Rocketman," "Macbeth," "If - Waste," "New Tricks," "Holby," "The Last Detective," "My Hero," "Wire in the Blood," "Foyle's War," "Sharpe," "Plotlands," and "Peak Practice XI."

The 2009 Tony Award-winning Best Musical Billy Elliot the Musical currently stars Mike Dameski, Alex Ko, Trent Kowalik, Liam Redhead and Dayton Tavares Billy, Kate Henning as Mrs. Wilkinson, Gregory Jbara as Dad, Carole Shelley as Grandma, Will Chase as Tony and Trevor Braun and Jake Evans Schwencke as Michael.

Billy Elliot the Musical is the joyous celebration of one boy's journey to make his dreams come true. Set in a small town, the story follows Billy as he stumbles out of the boxing ring and into a ballet class, discovering a passion that takes him by surprise, and takes his whole family on an incredibly uplifting adventure.

Featuring music by Elton John, book and lyrics by Lee Hall, choreographed by Peter Darling and directed by Stephen Daldry, Billy Elliot the Musical opened at Broadway's Imperial Theatre (240 W 45th St) Thursday, November 13th and was the winner of ten 2009 Tony Awards including Best Musical.

Tickets for Billy Elliot the Musical range from $41.50 to $136.50, and can be purchased at the Imperial Theatre Box Office (240 West 45th Street) or by calling at 212-239-6200 or visiting The playing schedule for Billy Elliot is as follows: Tuesdays at 7pm, Thursday - Saturdays at 8pm, Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays at 2pm, and Sunday at 7:30pm

Billy Elliot the Musical is produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner, Jon Finn and Sally Greene. Angela Morrison and David Furnish are Executive Producers. The production features scenic design by Ian MacNeil, costume design by Nicky Gillibrand, lighting design by Rick Fisher and sound design by Paul Arditti. Musical supervision and orchestrations are by Martin Koch.