Eden Espinosa

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Eden Espinosa
Mistress of Ceremony Eden Espinosa.jpg
Espinosa at the Latinas of Influence Event 2013
Born (1978-02-02) February 2, 1978 (age 38)
Anaheim, California

Eden Erica Espinosa (born February 2, 1978 in Anaheim, California) is an American singer and stage actress, who is best known for her performances as Elphaba for the Broadway, Los Angeles, and San Francisco productions of the musical Wicked.[1]

Education & early career[edit]

Of Mexican descent,[2] Eden Espinosa began singing at the age of three, performing at age five, and recording at the age of ten.[3] At Canyon High School, she played the role of Maria in West Side Story. After graduating, Espinosa worked at local theme parks such as Disneyland and Universal Studios.[4] She was also part of the successful performing group The Young Americans, which is based in southern California and performs in front of audiences worldwide.


Espinosa in 2008

Espinosa made her Broadway debut as a member of the Original Broadway Cast of Stephen Schwartz's musical Wicked, which opened on October 30, 2003. She started the production as standby for Idina Menzel in the lead role of Elphaba. She was also an understudy for the role of Nessarose. Espinosa performed the lead role of Elphaba for a month continuously during the Summer of 2004, while Menzel was filming Ask the Dust. Espinosa left Wicked on September 5, 2004, to originate the lead for the Broadway debut of Brooklyn.

Following the closing of Brooklyn The Musical, Espinosa performed the lead role of Elphaba for the Wicked First National Tour during the entire San Francisco run from August 5 to September 11, 2005. She replaced Stephanie J. Block while she recovered from an injury.[5]

On January 10, 2006, Espinosa returned to perform in the lead role of Elphaba for the Broadway production of Wicked, taking over the role from Shoshana Bean. Espinosa performed for the Wicked celebration of its 1,000th performance on Broadway, on March 21, 2006. Espinosa played opposite both Megan Hilty and Kate Reinders as Glinda on Broadway. She left the Broadway production on October 8, 2006, and was replaced by Ana Gasteyer.

Espinosa received the 2006 Broadway.com Audience Award for "Favorite Female Replacement", in recognition of her performances as Elphaba during her Broadway run as lead.[6]

Espinosa was chosen to originate the role of Elphaba for the third U.S. production of Wicked in Los Angeles, which opened on February 21, 2007 at the Pantages Theatre. She opened the show with former Broadway co-star Megan Hilty as Glinda. She received broad critical acclaim for the role.[7] Espinosa left the Los Angeles company on December 30, 2007 and was replaced by Caissie Levy. Following the closing of "Rent", she returned to the Los Angeles production of Wicked on October 31, 2008, to reprise the role of Elphaba and stayed with the production until its finale on January 11, 2009.[8] Wicked Los Angeles was one of the most financially successful musicals in Los Angeles theatre history.

On March 2, 2010, Espinosa took over the role of Elphaba from Teal Wicks for the San Francisco production of Wicked.[9] She performed opposite Kendra Kassebaum as Glinda, whom she had previously performed with on the Wicked First National Tour when it stopped in San Francisco. Espinosa left on June 26, 2010 and was replaced by Marcie Dodd.

Brooklyn The Musical[edit]

Espinosa originated and workshopped the title role in Brooklyn The Musical over the course of two years. before having its world premiere on April 30, 2003 and ran until June 15, 2003 at the Denver Civic Center.[10]

Following spending 9 months as the standby in Wicked, Espinosa brought Brooklyn The Musical to Broadway which began preview performances at the Plymouth Theatre (later changed into the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in May 2005 while the show was still running) on September 23, 2004 and opened October 24, 2004. She stayed for entire Broadway run till it closed on June 26, 2005 where it played 27 previews and 284 regular performances.[11]

Espinosa was nominated for a 2005 Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance for her performance.[12]

Espinosa is featured on the original Broadway cast recording of Brooklyn the Musical.


On May 30th, 2008, Espinosa replaced Nicolette Hart as Maureen Johnson (a role again originated by Idina Menzel) in the closing cast of the original Broadway production of Rent at the Nederlander Theatre. To take part in promotion for the farewell performances of Rent, Espinosa made appearances on Good Morning America and at the 2008 Tony Awards (which featured the original and closing Broadway casts). Rent's final Broadway performance on September 7, 2008 was also filmed (which Espinosa is featured on). [13]

Additional theatre[edit]

Espinosa starred in a production of Flora the Red Menace which ran at UCLA's Freud Playhouse from May 6–18, 2008.[14] After its closing, On September 21, 2008, Espinosa made her West End debut in "Never Neverland", a benefit concert that raised money for British charities Ovarian Cancer Action and NCH. The concert took place at the Duchess Theatre in London.

Espinosa also performed in the one-night staging of Howard Ashman's previously-unproduced musical Dreamstuff on June 23, 2008 at the Hayworth Theatre in Los Angeles[15] directed by Michael Urie.

Espinosa played the Fairy Godmother in the 2011 Nashville Symphony Orchestra concert version of Cinderella on April 15, 2011 alongside Wicked alum Alli Mauzey, who played the title character.[16]

She will play the lead the character, Sadie, in the new musical Rain, which will play at the Old Globe Theatre from March 24 to May 1, 2016.[17]

Solo shows/performances[edit]

In March 2009, Espinosa took her solo show entitled "Me" to Joe's Pub in NYC for a series of concerts following her three performances of the show towards the end of Wicked's LA run. She is scheduled to return to Southern California with her show on Friday, July 24, 2009 at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre. Eden was featured as a soloist for Disneyland's new firework spectacular "Magical" premiering in the summer of 2009, where she sang Magical's theme song as well as classic Disney tunes such as "Baby Mine".[18]

Solo album[edit]

In August 2012, Espinosa announced she is in the works of recording her debut solo album featuring modern Broadway hits with a pop sensibility entitled "Look Around". The album was released on December 18th, 2012 debuting at #41 on the iTunes Pop Charts between Adele and Katy Perry. The album also went on to win multiple awards for independent artists including the Independent Music Awards for Pop Album of The Year, Female Pop Vocalist of The Year, and Producer of The Year (which went to Espinosa's producer Joseph Abate). [19]

On July 25th, 2015, Espinosa announced she is in the early development process of her sophomore studio album. Just like with "Look Around", she stated a 2nd Kickstarter fundraiser in order to raise money for putting everything together. [20]


Espinosa has appeared on various television shows, including Law & Order, Robot Chicken, and Dog Whisperer. She had a recurring role in 2009 as the voice of Sasha Caylo on the super robot animated series Titan Maximum, an original show developed for Adult Swim.

In 2007, the ABC series Ugly Betty included performances of "I'm Not That Girl" and "Defying Gravity" in the episode "Something Wicked This Way Comes" featuring Espinosa and other members of Los Angeles Wicked cast.

She has also appeared on the Today Show in 2004, the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade TV broadcast in 2004, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno in 2007, and as a performer on the 2008 Tony Awards.[21]

In 2011, she appeared on the animated sketch comedy series Mad episode "Force Code / Flammable" as Katy Putty, a Katy Perry parody made out of Play-Doh who sings about flammable things, and performed "Flammable", a spoof on Perry's song "Firework".



External links[edit]