"Twinsies!" Identical Brothers Jacob and David Guzman Are Side by Side in Broadway's Newsies

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24 Oct 2012

Jacob and David Guzman
Jacob and David Guzman
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

It's safe to say that brothers Jacob Guzman and David Guzman are inseparable — not even Broadway casting directors could split them apart. After 17 years side by side — 15 of them spent dancing — the identical twins made their Broadway debut Sept. 10, together, in Disney's Newsies.

"The way they tell us apart is [by the] freckle on my nose," said Jacob as he pointed to the tiny spot in the center of his face — the only (semi) noticeable difference between the teenage twins — to explain how more than a dozen newsboys attempt to keep identities clear at the Nederlander Theatre. "But they usually know [who I am] because I'm sitting in my chair that says 'Jacob.'"

Before Broadway, however, "Jacob" and "David" chairs weren't necessary where they danced. "It was our second family," explained David about their dance studio, The Gold School, located in their hometown of Brockton, MA. "I think the hardest part [of moving to New York] was leaving my dance studio," added Jacob, "because that's where I, like, lived."

At the age of two, the Guzman brothers took up a hobby that would pave the path to Broadway. "My sisters danced," said David. "One day [our mother] brought us [to the studio], and one of the classroom doors was open… [Jacob and I] just stopped and couldn't take our eyes off of it. The teacher said, 'Why don't you come sit down?' We were just mesmerized."

Years later, and training in ballet, tap, jazz, modern ("pretty much every style," said Jacob), the brothers would go on to win various awards and dance titles. It wasn't very often, though, that the duo went head-to-head. "We didn't get solos for a really long time because my dance teacher is actually a twin," said David, referring to Rennie Gold, their teacher, motivator and mentor. "[He and his brother] got solos at a young [age] and became really competitive. He didn't want that to happen to us."

The Guzmans claim to be far from competitive — even though Jacob bested David for the title of America's Teen Male Dancer of the Year at the age of 14, and, if we're nitpicking, the brothers agree that David is the stronger ballet dancer. As it turned out, only one of the twins was initially cast in Newsies.


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