You can bet that any performer who has played Elphaba in “Wicked” on Broadway has the singing chops that such a vocally demanding role requires, and Eden Espinosa is no exception. Soon, Indianapolis audiences will experience the talent of this seasoned singer and stage actor when she makes her debut at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club in her solo show, “Eden Espinosa: Look Around,” that takes place on Aug. 2 and 3 at 8 p.m.
Recently, the New York based performer, who happened to be in L.A. during her interview, spoke by phone with usedview.com about her upcoming Cabaret engagement. “I have a couple of friends, Shoshana Bean and Leslie Odom, Jr. who did shows there. They said nothing but great things about it. They really liked the venue and said the audiences were warm and receptive so I am really looking forward to my chance. I am excited,” said Espinosa when asked if she knew anything about the Cabaret.
Besides her “Wicked” stint during which she understudied Idina Menzel prior to taking over the role and later performing it in the L.A. and San Francisco productions, Espinosa also performed on Broadway in “Rent,” and “Brooklyn.”
Of Mexican descent, Espinosa’s maternal grandparents (they had 13 children) are from Monterrey, Mexico. Her dad’s parents are from Reynosa, Mexcio. An Orange County, Cal. native, she started performing at the age of 3. “I come from a very musical family. I took music lessons and dance lessons and was in children’s theater so it was just something I always loved and was involved in. My dad is a musician. He plays and sings and my mom sings. Music and the arts were always enforced in my entire family,” said Espinosa.
After graduating from Canyon High School, where she played Maria in “West Side Story,” Espinosa performed at Disneyland and Universal Studios. Later, at the age of 22, she struck out for New York City.
After her 2003 Broadway debut, Espinosa continued to work primarily in musical theatre but said, “For the last three years I have been focusing on a lot of other things — on live concerts and on an album I just released in December (“Look Around”). I have also been developing who I am as a person and as an artist — not only an actress playing other characters but also performing in concerts — engaging an audience and being comfortable doing that as well.”
As far her Cabaret show, Espinosa says that it will consist of material from her CD, which includes Broadway hits as well as covers of singers such as Joni Mitchell, Sia, Cyndi Lauper, Eva Cassidy and others. Accompanying her will be her band, which consists of pianist Joseph Abate, a guitarist, and a drummer. Abate, who just happens to be Espinosa’s husband, is also her manager, music director, and arranger. He also produced her album
When asked if she likes to interact with the audience, Espinosa says, “I’d say that is a good portion of my show. I really love an interactive audience. I love a vocal audience. It’s fine if you want to shout out a question. I bring people on stage. I like to have fun because it gives people a sense of who I am. When I come to your town and if you don’t know who I am I would love for you to leave feeling you got to know me.”
“What I love about cabaret is that I have discovered a freedom in just being myself and not having to play a character — worrying about messing up a lyric or being perfect. I can be myself — a flawed human being — as we all are. In my concerts, I am very honest, very candid, very off the cuff. I don’t plan what I’m going to say.”
For tickets and information about “Eden Espinosa: Looking Around” at the Cabaret at the Columbia Club call (317) 275-1169 or visit www.thecabaret.org.
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