David Alvarez (actor)

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David Alvarez
David Alvarez-Gonzalez

(1994-05-11) May 11, 1994 (age 25)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Years active2008–present

David Alvarez (born May 11, 1994) is a Tony Award-winning Canadian dancer and actor, mostly recognized for being one of the original Billys in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical.[1]

Early years[edit]

Alvarez was born David Alvarez-Gonzalez in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, to Cuban parents. His father, David Alvarez-Carbonell, is a professor of biology and chemistry, while his mother, Yanek, is an actress and director of theater.[2] His first languages were French and Spanish. He moved to San Diego with his family when his father took a job at The Scripps Research Institute.

David began taking classical ballet more seriously at the California Ballet. In 2005, Alvarez received a full merit scholarship to the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theatre (ABT) and his family relocated to New York City.[3] While at ABT, Alvarez danced feature roles in The Nutcracker at the Kennedy Center Opera House and The Sleeping Beauty at the Metropolitan Opera House. Currently, he continues his ballet training at ABT.

In 2008, Alvarez was listed as one of the top 10 young ballet dancers to watch by Dance Spirit Magazine.[4]

To complement his dancing and acting skills, Alvarez trained in classical piano at the 92nd Street Y School of Music, where he was awarded the Recanati-Kaplan merit scholarship.[5]

Billy Elliot[edit]

Alvarez is one of the three boys originally cast to play Billy in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot the Musical, along with Trent Kowalik and Kiril Kulish.[6] He needed to study tap, acrobatics, voice and acting for the role and spent July 2007 through March 2008 preparing. Billy Elliot the Musical began previews in New York on October 1 and officially opened on November 13, 2008. His first preview performance was on October 2, 2008.[7] He played his final performance on January 3, 2010.[8]

Alvarez's portrayal of Billy Elliot was highly praised by the critics, including Ben Brantley[9] and Claudia La Rocco of The New York Times[10] and Charles McNulty of the Los Angeles Times.[11]

Alvarez has been featured on Live with Regis and Kelly, The View, Sunday Morning on CBS News, The Today Show, Canada AM on CTV, CBC News, Despierta America on Univision, and at the 62nd Tony Awards ceremony.

Alvarez, jointly with Kiril Kulish and Trent Kowalik, won the Tony Award for Best Actor in a Musical. Billy Elliot was nominated for 15 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, and won ten.[12]

Later work[edit]

Alvarez left theater to serve in the US Army. Following a service of two and a half years with the 25th Infantry Division he returned to Broadway, becoming a swing in a production of On the Town.[13]

While attending Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, in the fall of 2018, he was found by the casting director for Steven Spielberg's West Side Story[14], and on January 14, 2019, it was announced that Alvarez would be playing the role of Bernardo in this Spielberg's adaptation of the film.[15]


  1. ^ Globe and Mail. Young Montrealer wins Tony Award. Printed June 7, 2009. Retrieved June 8, 2009.
  2. ^ ‘Weird’ Coincidence Links City Tech To Hit Broadway Show ‘Billy Elliot’ Newswise, 22 September 2009
  3. ^ "David Álvarez, 14, goes Broadway". nydailynews.com.
  4. ^ "All applause for Alvarez". winnipegsun.com.
  5. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2009-03-04. Retrieved 2009-03-03.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  6. ^ "Broadway Billys Announced", Official Billy Elliot website
  7. ^ First Performance Playbill
  8. ^ [1] "Broadway.com"
  9. ^ Brantley, Ben. In Hard Times, Born to Pirouette (to Elton John) at the Imperial Theater The New York Times
  10. ^ La Rocco, Claudia. An Array Of Styles, Assembled For a Cause The New York Times
  11. ^ "Theater review: 'Billy Elliot' on Broadway". latimes.com. 13 November 2008.
  12. ^ Tony Nominations[permanent dead link]
  13. ^ Kourlas, Gia (April 24, 2015). "David Alvarez on 'Billy Elliot,' the Army, and 'On the Town'". The New York Times.
  14. ^ Robertson, Campbell (June 5, 2019). "They Shared a Tony for 'Billy Elliot'. What Did They Do for an Encore?". New York Times.
  15. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony (January 14, 2019). "Steven Spielberg's 'West Side Story' Finds Its Maria, Anita, Bernardo & Chino". Deadline Hollywood.

External links[edit]