Taking on the role of Billy’s Grandma, Patti Perkins is a talented actress who has a front row seat to watching the next generation of performers in the young Billy’s and little ballet girls. Performing from April 30th – May 5th, 2013, “Billy Elliot” comes to the San Diego Civic Theatre.
One of the things that really appeals to Patti is the story of this show. “The story, the story works. About this child and about the community coming together and just what everyone goes through, and also how awesome Billy is. You can’t believe what he’ll say. I mean they’re dancing and they’re just, they carry the show. They’re really wonderful. The growing into actors are also quite dedicated.”
The cast of “Billy Elliot” allows for an amazing opportunity to work and watch their leads grow up and develop as actors and performers. “You forget sometimes that they’re kids and that’s used…11, 12. I think our oldest is maybe 14, 15 but they’re still kids but you forget it. They do try to show they win over the audience and they are trained. I mean they’re within an inch of their lives. The kids grow, its the interesting thing about this show. Especially the boys, where one day you look at them on stage and they, they seem like men all of a sudden. I’m on my 14th Billy. They start off as children and then their voices change. There can be a vast difference from week to week in children, it’s interesting to watch them grow.”
“Billy Elliott” is the first touring opportunity for Patti, so the travel part of it is something that takes some adapting too “The first year we would sit down in cities for 3 – 4 weeks and you’re always ready to move on. This past year we have been doing it more for a week and then we move on. On our day off we travel and that’s hardly restful. So it’s really quite rigorous. They booked us into Brazil as well. So that will be interesting.”
“It’s also miraculous, cause I also sometimes lose sight of – they schlep this in trucks and get to the city and put up our little home on stage. It’s amazing anything gets put up on a tour. They have a system down that is load in, load out. I never see that part but I do know, after our second show on Sunday nights, you can hear them unscrewing lights, taking things apart, dismantling and move on over night. Most of the time it’s all there. Once in a while we are missing a piece or two, but usually it works out.”
Last in San Diego with “The Full Monty” at the Old Globe Theatre, Patti is excited to come back to San Diego. “Wow, it must be 12 years ago. I remember flying in at night and the opening my shades in the morning and seeing the brilliant sunlight and the flowers – there was a riot of color and it was so beautiful. And the actor housing was near the zoo so at nighttime you could hear the animals playing.”
Hopefully she finds her current stay as memorable as her last one. Come see Patti Perkins in “Billy Elliot” at the San Diego Civic Theatre from April 30th – May 5th. For ticket information please go to www.Broadwaysd.com or call 619– 570-11100.
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