February 2, 1978 |
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.
Education & early career
Of Mexican descent, Eden Espinosa began singing at the age of three, performing at age five, and recording at the age of ten. 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. 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.
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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. When going on for Elphaba, Espinosa performed alongside opposite Kristin Chenoweth and Jennifer Laura Thompson. 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. For this engagement, she played opposite Kendra Kassebaum as Glinda
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 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. 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. 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. 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
Espinosa originated and workshopped the title role in Brooklyn The Musical over the course of two years. Its world premiere was on April 30, 2003 and it ran until June 15, 2003 at the Denver Civic Center.
Following spending 9 months as the standby in Wicked, Espinosa brought Brooklyn The Musical to Broadway; it began with 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 the entire Broadway run till it closed on June 26, 2005; it played 27 previews and 284 regular performances.
Espinosa was nominated for a 2005 Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance for her performance.
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).
Espinosa starred in a production of Flora the Red Menace which ran at UCLA's Freud Playhouse from May 6–18, 2008. 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.
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".
In August 2012, Espinosa announced she was 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).
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. 
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.
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".
In 2016 she voiced Orizaba the moth fairy in the 10th episode of Elena of Avalor, "The Sceptre of Light".
- Top 25 Praise Songs – Updated (2000)
- Top 25 Acoustic Worship Songs (2002)
- The Maury Yeston Songbook (2003)
- Hair – The Actors' Fund of America Benefit Recording (2005)
- Bright Lights, Big City – (2005 concept album)
- Brooklyn the Musical (2005 Original Broadway Cast Recording)
- Dreaming Wide Awake: The Music of Scott Alan (2007)
- David Burnham – featured duet: "As Long as You're Mine" (2007)
- Magical: Disney's New Nighttime Spectacular of Magical Celebrations (Disneyland, 2009) – Featured Vocals
- Look Around - (2012)
- Untitled Sophomore Solo Album- (2016)
- The New York Times > Theater > News & Features > From Disneyland to Brooklyn, via Broadway
- Eden Espinosa Twitter
- Brooklyn The Musical on Broadway
- Eden Espinosa, Fresh Face Interview: Broadway.com Buzz
- Playbill News: Former Elphaba Eden Espinosa Returns to Wicked in San Francisco as Tour Star Block Rests
- Eden Espinosa, Star File: Broadway.com Buzz
- Los Angeles Times 2/23/2007 "Wicked is Almost Sure to be Evergreen"
- Espinosa and Hilty to Return to Los Angeles Cast of Wicked
- New 'Wicked' witch flying into San Francisco
- Gans, Andrew (18 February 2003). "New Brooklyn Musical to World Premiere in Denver in Spring 2003". Playbill. Retrieved 18 July 2016.
- Brooklyn Premier
- Playbill News: "Not a Sound": Brooklyn Plays Final Broadway Performance June 26
- Broadway.com list of drama league award nominees
- Will Chase and Eden Espinosa To Join Final 'Rent' Cast, Espinosa will join on May 30, 2008 as the final Maureen.
- Playbill News: Espinosa and Felciano to Star in Reprise! Flora the Red Menace
- Eden Espinosa joins cast of Show Hope's second annual CINDERELLA
- Eden Espinosa Will Lead Premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's RAIN at Old Globe Theatre; Full Cast Announced! Broadway World, Retrieved January 28, 2016
- STAGE TUBE: Eden Does Eva- Watch Trailer of Espinosa in Studio Tenn's EVITA! Broadway World, Retrieved June 29, 2016
- Eden Espinosa Set to Sing New Disneyland Fireworks Spectacular 'MAGICAL' Theme Song
- Eden Espinosa's Album Project
- Eden Espinosa - Sophomore Album
- Eden Espinosa at the Internet Movie Database
- Bryant, Jacob. "TV News Roundup: Jeffrey Tambor Joins 'Tangled' Series; George Eads Cast in 'MacGyver' Reboot". Variety.com. Retrieved 25 March 2016.