Broadway star Eden Espinosa chats about the new rock musical LIZZIE

You are joining the cast of Lizzie at Greenwich theatre this year. What is the show about and what attracted you to the part you are playing?
Lizzie is about the murders and trail that Lizzie Borden was involved in. She was really the first female who gained fame and notoriety from being on trail for murder. She was accused and acquitted of murdering her father and step mother with an axe. As far as what attracted me to this part, it was honestly getting to spend time in Denmark and London. I love working with these women and playing Emma Borden, Lizzie’s older sister, is really fun.

Who are your biggest inspirations both on and off stage?
I have so many. Bleu Woodward and Jodie Jacobs first of all. LOL- love those girls. I’m inspired by transparency in acting and singing. My friend Shoshana Bean inspires me on stage and off. She is one of the best friends anyone can have. So loyal and true and we all know why she inspires me onstage.

Do you have any pre-show rituals?
My pre-show rituals depend on what the show is and the role demands. Music plays a huge part in my mood so sometimes I create a playlist that helps me get into character.

What West End show would you like to see make a comeback and why?
Well since I don’t live in London and am not familiar with every West End show I’ll name my Broadway shows I want to make a comeback. I’d love 2 of my faves to come back: Sunday in the Park with George. Because I just am in love with everything about that score. It’s so beautiful. I would also love for there to be a revival of Next to Normal but when I’m old enough to play Diana!

If you were going to get a new pet and had to give it a musical theatre character name, what would you go for?
If I got a new pet my current pet Owen wouldn’t like it. Ha! But I might name a boy pet Fagin from Oliver and a girl pet Lola from Kinky Boots.

What has been the funniest or most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you on stage?
This is my fave story. Megan Hilty and I were doing Wicked in LA. The scene during Popular when she is trying to turn my frock into a ball gown, she did a deep squat and exhaled upwards into her microphone. Well it sounded like a huge fart reverberating through the Pantages Theater. The audience lost it. We lost it. Then she said “Elphie!!! Excuse YOU!” Ahhhh, live theatre!

If you could only ever listen to one more musical theatre song, what would you choose?
Oooh this is hard for me. Can I have two? They would be “Heaven on their Minds” from JCS and “Move on” from Sunday in the Park with George.

What are your thoughts on theatre etiquette? What things annoy you when you are performing or when you are in the audience?
I think theatre etiquette has declined over time. People don’t dress up for the theatre anymore. They sell food and drink to be taken into the theatre. It’s less of an event – it makes me sad. Phones drive me crazy whether I’m on stage or in the audience. I can’t stand it.

What’s your favourite place in London?
This is to be determined. I’m so looking forward to spending a month there and exploring and finding my favourite place.

Why do you think people should come and see Lizzie?
This piece is so unique and such a wild ride. The music is awesome. It’s so rock n roll and what other show do you have four women rocking out? It’s a bloody good time. See what I did there?

Thanks for having Tea With Wilma
Interview by Rosie Bambury

LIZZIE plays at the Greenwich Theatre 22 February – 12 March 2017

Watch my 2013 interview with Eden Espinosa