Eden Espinosa

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Eden Espinosa
Eden Espinosa.jpg
Espinosa at the Henry Fonda Theater in 2008
Born Eden Erica Espinosa
(1978-02-02) February 2, 1978 (age 40)
Anaheim, California, U.S.
Occupation Actress, singer
Years active 2000–present

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 and 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. 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.[3] 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 made her Broadway debut as a member of the original Broadway cast of Stephen Schwartz's musical Wicked, which opened on October 30, 2003.[4] She started the production as standby for Idina Menzel in the role of Elphaba.[4] She was also an understudy for the role of Nessarose. Espinosa performed the 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 Block recovered from an injury.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8]

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.[9] Espinosa left the Los Angeles company on December 30, 2007 and was replaced by Caissie Levy. [10]

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.[11] 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.[12] She performed opposite Kendra Kassebaum as Glinda, with whom she had previously performed on the Wicked First National tour when it played in San Francisco. Espinosa left on June 26, 2010, and was replaced by Marcie Dodd.[13]

Brooklyn The Musical[edit]

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 (previews),[14] and it ran until June 15, 2003, at the Denver Civic Center.[15]

Espinosa opened in Brooklyn on Broadway at the Plymouth Theatre on October 21, 2004 and stayed with the musical until it closed on June 26, 2005.[16] It played 27 previews and 284 regular performances.

Espinosa was nominated for a 2005 Drama League Award for Distinguished Performance for her performance.[17] She was featured on the original Broadway cast recording of Brooklyn the Musical.[citation needed]


On May 30, 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. [18]

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).[19]

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.[20] 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 performed as Miranda in the one-night staging of Howard Ashman's previously unproduced musical Dreamstuff on June 23, 2008, at the Hayworth Theatre in Los Angeles, directed by Michael Urie.[21]

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.[22]

She headlined the world premiere of the new musical Rain by Michael John LaChiusa as Sadie, at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego from March 24 to May 1, 2016.[23]

Espinosa played the lead role in Studio Tenn's production of Evita in Nashville, Tennessee, from September 9 to 18, 2016.[24]

In 2018, Espinosa played the role of Daniella in the concert version of Lin Manuel Miranda's in the heights.

Solo shows/performances[edit]

In March 2009, Espinosa performed her solo show entitled "Me" at Joe's Pub in New York City, directed by Billy Porter.[25] She returned to Southern California with her show on Friday, July 24, 2009, at the John Anson Ford Amphitheatre.

She 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 Disney songs such as "Baby Mine".[26]

Solo album[edit]

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".[27] The album was released on December 18, 2012, debuting at #41 on the iTunes Pop Charts.[28] 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).[29]

On July 25, 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.[30]


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.[31]

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.[32]

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 tenth episode of Elena of Avalor, "The Sceptre of Light".

She voiced Rapunzel’s handmaiden and confidant Cassandra in the 2017 film Tangled: Before Ever After.[33] and in Tangled: The Series[34]



  1. ^ Pogrebin, Robin. "From Disneyland to Brooklyn, via Broadway" The New York Times, September 29, 2004
  2. ^ Eden Espinosa Twitter
  3. ^ " 'Wicked' star Eden Espinosa cut her teeth at Disneyland" eastbaytimes.com, January 1, 2008
  4. ^ a b "Eden Espinosa on Broadway" Playbill, retrieved October 9, 2017
  5. ^ Hernandez, Ernio and Gans, Andrew. "Former Elphaba Eden Espinosa Returns to 'Wicked' in San Francisco as Tour Star Block Rests Playbill, July 14, 2005
  6. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Quadruple Play: 'Wicked' Welcomes Espinosa, Kane, Williams and Candler Jan. 10" Playbill, January 10, 2006
  7. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Espinosa Bids Broadway's 'Wicked' Farewell Oct. 8" Playbill, October 8, 2008
  8. ^ Eden Espinosa, Star File: Broadway.com Buzz
  9. ^ Los Angeles Times 2/23/2007 "Wicked is Almost Sure to be Evergreen"
  10. ^ Gallo, Phil. "JoAnne Worley joins 'Wicked' " Variety, December 18, 2007
  11. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Espinosa and Hilty to Return to Los Angeles Cast of 'Wicked' " Playbill, October 17, 2008
  12. ^ Chronicle Staff. "New 'Wicked' witch flying into San Francisco" sfgate.com, February 11, 2010
  13. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Marcie Dodd and Alli Mauzey to Join Cast of San Francisco's 'Wicked' " Playbill, June 17, 2010
  14. ^ Gans, Andrew (18 February 2003). "New Brooklyn Musical to World Premiere in Denver in Spring 2003". Playbill. Retrieved 18 July 2016. 
  15. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Broadway-Bound Musical, Brooklyn, Opens May 7 in Denver" Playbill, May 7, 2003
  16. ^ Gans, Andrew. " 'Brooklyn' to Close on Broadway June 26", Playbill.com, May 24, 2005.
  17. ^ News Desk. "Nominees Announced for the 71st Annual Drama League Awards", Broadway.com, April 2005.
  18. ^ Gans, Andrew. and Jones, Kenneth. "Chase and Espinosa Will Join Broadway's 'Rent' Cast" Playbill, May 1, 2008
  19. ^ BWW News Desk. "Will Chase and Eden Espinosa To Join Final 'Rent' Cast" broadwayworld.com, April 29, 2008
  20. ^ Playbill News: Espinosa and Felciano to Star in Reprise! Flora the Red Menace Archived 2008-03-02 at the Wayback Machine.
  21. ^ "Dreamstuff Program", linguistics.ucla.edu; accessed December 15, 2017.
  22. ^ "Eden Espinosa joins cast of Show Hope's second annual 'Cinderella'", broadwayworld.com; accessed December 15, 2017.
  23. ^ "Eden Espinosa Will Lead Premiere of Michael John LaChiusa's 'Rain' at Old Globe Theatre; Full Cast Announced!" Broadway World, Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  24. ^ "STAGE TUBE: Eden Does Eva- Watch Trailer of Espinosa in Studio Tenn's 'Evita!'" BroadwayWorld.com; retrieved June 29, 2016.
  25. ^ Gans, Andrew. "Eden Espinosa to Offer Three Shows at Joe's Pub; Billy Porter Directs" Playbill, February 12, 2009
  26. ^ BWW News Desk. "Eden Espinosa Set to Sing New Disneyland Fireworks Spectacular 'Magical' Theme Song" broadwayworld.com, April 27, 2009
  27. ^ Eden Espinosa's Album Project
  28. ^ News Desk. "Eden Espinosa's New Album "Look Around" Hits No. 41 on iTunes Pop Chart" broadwayworld.com, December 19, 2012
  29. ^ News Desk. "Independent Music Award for 'Stone Cold Sober' " broadwayworld.com, August 15, 2014
  30. ^ Eden Espinosa - Sophomore Album
  31. ^ " 'Ugly Betty' Air Date: Thursday, November 01, 2007. Episode Title: (#206) "Something Wicked This Way Comes" " The Futon Critic, retrieved October 9, 2017
  32. ^ Eden Espinosa on IMDb
  33. ^ Bryant, Jacob. "TV News Roundup: Jeffrey Tambor Joins 'Tangled' Series; George Eads Cast in 'MacGyver' Reboot". Variety.com. Retrieved 25 March 2016. 
  34. ^ Taylor, Drew (March 8, 2016). "New Details and Casting Revealed for Disney Channel's Tangled: Before Ever After". Oh My Disney. Retrieved March 8, 2016. 

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