Friday, December 6, 2019
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    Meet Billy Elliot: David Alvarez

    Note: David’s final performance as Billy on Broadway was January 3, 2010

    Debut: October 2, 2008 (Broadway)

    Total Performances as Billy: 137.5 (Includes 1 partial show credited @.5)

    David Alvarez ThumbDavid Alvarez was born in Montreal, Canada. His parents come from Cuba. So David grew up speaking both French and Spanish. It wasn’t until the family moved to San Diego, California, when David was nine, that he began speaking English on a regular basis.

    Born on May 11, 1994, like many of his fellow Billys, he started dance at a young age – eight years old. David has said he really began to take dance seriously when he made the move to San Diego, where he studied ballet at the San Diego Academy of Ballet (with fellow original Broadway Billy, Kiril Kulish) and the California Ballet Company.

    Kiril Kulish & David Alvarez Practice Ballet
    Kiril Kulish & David Alvarez Practice Ballet

    At age 10, David was offered a full scholarship to the prestigious Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School at the American Ballet Theater (ABT) in New York City. David’s family pulled up stakes and moved with him to NYC so he could pursue his dream. At ABT, he was a featured performer in several productions and continued his ballet training even after he’d become Billy. In 2008, he was listed as one of the top 10 young ballet dancers to watch by Dance Spirit Magazine. David is also an accomplished classical pianist.

     Alvarez was among the more than 1500 boys who auditioned for the role of Billy Elliot on Broadway, after a dance teacher suggested he try out, and was ultimately chosen to be one of the three original Billys.

    His first appearance as Billy came on the second night of previews, October 2, 2008, and his “official” debut was on November 14, 2008, the night after the show opened on Broadway.

    Here’s the official BETM “We Are Billy Elliot” video produced by the Broadway production of the show:

    Credit: Video by BillyElliotBroadway

    On June 7, 2009, along with his two fellow originating Billys – Kiril Kulish and Trent Kowalik – David won a joint Tony award for Best Actor in a Musical.

    2009-tony-awards-billy-elliot1

     

    In August of 2009,  after winning the Tony Award and having been in the show for almost a year, David gave an interview to the popular AP Red Broadway interviewer Jason Drew in which he discussed his training, his reactions about winning the Tony and how it was to play Billy on Broadway.  Here’s a video clip of that interview:

    Credit: Video by AP Portal Connects

    On 13-Nov-2009, David helped the rest of the cast celebrate the 1st Birthday of Billy Elliot the Musical on Broadway at an after show cast and crew party where cake was had by all.

    Six-Billys1
    L:r Dayton Tavares, Alex Ko, Trent Kowalik, David Alvarez, Liam Redhead, Tommy Batchelor

    Into his second year on Broadway, David continued to wow audiences with his portrayal of Billy. He also continued to refine his ballet skills at ABT.

    After 15 months in the role, his official last show as Billy was the matinee on Sunday, January 3, 2010 at the Imperial Theatre. From the many reports of those who were there, it was a very emotional afternoon, beginning with a short speech by director Stephen Daldry before the show began, continuing into the performance itself as cast members did scenes for the last time with David, and ending with a very emotional finale, as his fellow cast members said goodbye to one of their original Billys.

    After David’s last bow, Gregory Jbara, who played Billy’s dad in the show, symbolically handed his stage son back to his real father.  His journey as Billy was over. It was his 137.5th performance in the role (includes one partial show @ .5).

    While David has said that he will continue preparing for a career in ballet, he still holds open all his options. One thing is for sure, the future is bright for this boy who loves to dance!

    David Alvarez in Billy Elliot

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    Life After Billy

    • When David played Billy Elliot for the final time, he was just 4 months shy of his 16th birthday.  He went on to finish High School, graduating in 2012.
    • Following High School, David enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving for 2.5 years as a Recon Sniper in the 25th Infantry Division. While it seemed an unusual career move for David, he says that, since he was 13 or 14, he knew he wanted to join the Army.
    • After his stint in the Army, David appeared in a pair of short films. He played the role of Nicolas in Child’s Play (2013) and starred in a short family drama called Fitted, released on October 25, 2014. 

    David Alvarez (center) in On The Town

    • Then it was back to Broadway for David. He joined the cast of the revival of On The Town, at the Lyric Theater from April 14, 2015 to September 6, 2015.
    • Following his return to Broadway in On The Town, David took time out from the stage to again star in another short film in 2016. He played the role of  “The Deceased” in We Regret To Inform You, released May of that year.

    • While taking time off in Mexico in the fall of 2016, David got a call. BETM was coming to Mexico City and the production needed help training the young Billys. So David spent the next four months teaching, and he even performed in the production for a few months in the role of “Older Billy”.

    In this video clip, David as “Older Billy” dances “Dream Ballet” with Mexico City “Billy” Aarón Márquez:

    Credit: Video by István Mága

    • David then moved to Ohio to be close to his father. He enrolled in Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.  While attending that school, as his sophomore year began in the fall of 2018, he was discovered by the casting people of Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story.  On January 14, 2019 it was announced that David would be playing the role of “Bernardo” in Spielberg’s adaptation of the film, which is scheduled for release in December of 2020.
    • David is currently working on an EP album, writing and composing songs.

    For more information on David Alvarez visit:

     Billy Elliot the Forum, IMDb, David on Instagram, David on Facebook

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