And now, at 14, Cook is “Billy.” He is one of five boys who alternate the starring role of the young English boxer who’s just gotta dance, and sing songs written by Elton John, in a show that will hit 11 cities over the next six months. He had been playing the role of Michael, which won him a Helen Hayes nomination for best supporting actor when the show stopped at the Kennedy Center [he lost to Hugo Weaving in “Uncle Vanya”!], and he became one of the five “Billys” in late June. The show will be in Baltimore at Christmastime.
“It was pretty evident from the moment I first saw him that he had something spectacular,” Melissa Dobbs, Ben’s first teacher at MFAC told Loria. “Not just talented, but amazing.”
Cook said he could “really relate to the character” of Billy Elliot. “The thing I like about ‘Billy’ is that we both have the same kind of passion and dreams, and no matter what, we both try as hard as we can to accomplish what we want to in our lives.”