BWW Interview: Theatre Life with Eden Espinosa
Today's subject Eden Espinosa is currently living her theatre life as part of the national tour of the William Finn/James Lapine musical Falsettos where she is portraying the role of Trina. The show is currently playing in the Eisenhower Theater at the Kennedy Center and will continue through June 23rd. The tour will then travel to Charlotte, North Carolina for its final stop where it will end on June 30th.
Eden is most recognized for her portrayal of Elphaba in Wicked. She played the role off and on for seven years with the Broadway, Los Angeles and San Francisco companies. Her other Broadway credits include Brooklyn in Brooklyn the Musical, and Maureen in Rent.
Her regional credits include Sadie Thompson in Rain, Flora in Flora the Red Menace, Eva Peron in Evita, Emma Borden in the rock musical Lizzie, and Mary Flynn in Merrily We Roll Along. She was Daniela in Kennedy Center's In The Heights, and most recently she originated the role of Tamara De Lempicka in the world premiere of Lempicka.
Her TV appearances include Law and Order, Ugly Betty, and Elementary. Voiceover credits are Tangled the Series, Robot Chicken, MAD TV, Elena of Avalor, and Titan Maximum.
Eden's two solo CDs are entitled Look Around and Revelation.
I can honestly say that Eden Espinosa's performance was truly the highlight for me in Falsettos. Her performance of "I'm Breaking Down" rightfully stops the show.
If you only know Eden from her work in Wicked I highly recommend you try to see her in Falsettos before it leaves town next week. Her performance will have you "Holding to the Ground" and marveling at her talent for sure.
At what age did you have an idea that you were going to become a performer?
When I was younger I wanted to be a lawyer. Then in my early teens I wanted to be a pop star. It wasn't until I was in high school that I grasped the concept or idea of pursuing musical theater as a career.
Where did you receive your training?
I didn't go to college for musical theater. I reached a point in my career and my life that I felt I really needed a skill set and some training. So, I took the 2 year acting program at the William Esper Studio and trained under the Meisner technique with Bill Esper.
For those not familiar with Falsettos can you please tell us a little something about the show and who your character is?
I play Trina, who has just been left by her husband Marvin, for a man. The show is really layered and complex. But for me the overall story or message is about love. Love comes in all shapes and sizes. "Love can tell a million stories".
Your big song in Falsettos is called "I'm Breaking Down". How much fun is it to perform that song every night? Do audiences all over the country react the same way to it?
It's a huge gift to be able to perform a song like "I'm Breaking Down" every night. I think it's definitely I highlight for people playing Trina. Audiences seem to really enjoy it. My favorite part is meeting mothers at the stage door who say to me "I know exactly what that feels like" or "That was literally me this morning!!!"
When the two musicals that make up Falsettos were originally written, it was the height of the AIDS crisis. Why do you think Falsettos still resonates with today's audiences?
Well I think the family dynamic in the show is relatable to anyone at any age. But other layers really resonate with people who actually lived through the AIDS crisis. Who lost people they loved. It's a way of remembering them. For the younger generation it's a way of educating them. It's showing them that in that time, people didn't live long healthy lives with this diagnosis. So that is another way of honoring people who went through this and have passed on because of it.
You are very well known for playing Elphaba in Wicked. As we all know that show has a very passionate and loyal fan base. What are some of your most memorable fan encounters while performing in Wicked?
Well I did the show on and off for 7 years. Wicked fans are so loyal and supportive, as are fans of any show. I think looking back, my fave thing is to meet people now at the stage door and having them say, "You were my first Elphie", or "I saw you when I was 10 years old and you made me want to do musical theater."
Many performers don't necessarily like to come back to a show after performing in it. You have performed in multiple companies of Wicked. If given the chance, would you consider going green again?
You never say never, but it would have to be very special circumstances. I love that the show lives on with a younger generation. I don't know if people want to see a middle aged Elphaba. LOL
Can you please tell us about your latest CD entitled Revelation?
Revelation is my second album comprised of all original tunes. I'm very proud of the sound and the songs. I've gone through a lot over the past few years personally and a lot of the songs are based on that pain, and growth.
You were in the closing night company of Rent on Broadway. What do you recall about that performance?
What I recall most about that performance and that night, is the energy in the theater. It was electric, it was palpable, it was beautiful and intense.
After the tour of Falsettos concludes at the end of June, what is next up for you?
Falsettos has been the greatest gift and the greatest challenge. When this tour ends I'm taking a huge vacation to Hawaii. I haven't' had a vacation in over 8 years so it's long overdue.
Special thanks to Kennedy Center Senior Press Representative Brendan Padgett for his assistance in coordinating this interview.
Theatre Life logo designed by Kevin Laughon.