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Mandy Gonzalez (born August 22, 1978)[2][3] is an American actress and singer, best known for her leading roles on Broadway. She originated the role of Nina Rosario in the Off-Broadway and Broadway productions of the musical In the Heights. In 2010 and 2011, she played Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked.

Mandy Gonzalez
Mandy Gonzalez cropped.jpg
Born
Mandy Vera Gonzalez

(1978-08-22) August 22, 1978 (age 41)
OccupationActress, singer
Years active2001–present
Spouse(s)Douglas Melini[1]
Children1
Websitewww.mandygonzalez.com

On September 6, 2016, she assumed the role of Angelica Schuyler in the Broadway production of Hamilton.[4][5]

Early life and educationEdit

Gonzalez was born and raised in California's Santa Clarita Valley.[6] Her father is Mexican and her mother is Jewish (of Polish and Romanian origin).[7][8] Gonzalez attended Saugus High School in Saugus, California.[2] She attended the California Institute of the Arts for one year. Gonzalez then worked as a background singer for Bette Midler's Millennium Tour (1999–2000). After that she moved to New York City, where she worked as a coat check attendant while attending open calls.[6]

Theatre careerEdit

Prior to her appearances on Broadway, Gonzalez appeared in the off-Broadway production of Eli's Comin', a musical which was based on the lyrics and music of songwriter Laura Nyro that ran off-Broadway in 2001.[9] Gonzalez won an Obie Award for her performance.[10]

In 2001, Gonzalez made her debut on Broadway in the role of Princess Amneris in the Tim Rice/Elton John musical Aida as the standby for Idina Menzel. In 2002, she played the role of Sarah in the short-lived Broadway musical Dance of the Vampires.[6] She returned to Aida in 2003, as Amneris, opposite Toni Braxton and Will Chase.[11]

In 2005, she appeared in the Broadway musical Lennon, based on the life of John Lennon and Yoko Ono,[12] She played multiple roles, including Lennon himself. The show played a limited 91 performances on Broadway.

Gonzalez then starred as Nina Rosario in the original Broadway cast of In the Heights. Gonzalez created the role of Nina in the show's Off-Broadway production and received a Drama Desk Award for her portrayal.[13][14]

Gonzalez had previously been offered the role of Elphaba on the first national tour of Wicked, which she would have taken over from Shoshana Bean in January 2007; instead, she declined in order to star in In the Heights, with the role of Elphaba going instead to Victoria Matlock.[15] In 2010, the opportunity finally arose for her to play Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked.[16] She replaced Dee Roscioli on March 23, 2010. Not long into her run as the green witch, she won the 2010 Broadway.com Audience Award for Best Female Replacement. On January 30, 2011, she gave her final performance in the role, after which she was replaced by Teal Wicks. Gonzalez also had previously appeared in the ensemble in one of the musical's first readings.

In September 2016, she joined the Broadway cast of Hamilton as Angelica Schuyler Church, replacing Renée Elise Goldsberry.

Film and televisionEdit

Gonzalez appeared on television in The Good Wife, Third Watch, Guiding Light, and Madam Secretary. Her films include Across the Universe (directed by Julie Taymor) and Pieter Gaspersz' After.

In 2016, Gonzalez starred in the ABC thriller Quantico playing the recurring role of Agent Susan Coombs.[17]

Recording careerEdit

Gonzalez can be heard on the original Broadway cast recording of In the Heights and in the Disney animated film Mulan II as the singing voice of Su.

She released her first solo album, Fearless, on October 20, 2017. The title song was written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, creator and star of In the Heights and Hamilton. The song "Fearless" tells the story of how her parents fell in love as pen-pals during the Vietnam War, and of the #FearlessSquad. The album's seven tracks also include songs written by Bill Sherman, Jennifer Nettles, and Tom Kitt. It includes an acoustic version of her signature In The Heights song "Breathe", a remake of the classic song "Que Sera, Sera", and "Life Is Sweet", a duet with Christopher Jackson her In the Heights and Hamilton co-star and longtime friend.

Gonzalez debuted her solo show, also titled Fearless, at the Cafe Carlyle for two weeks from October 24 to November 4, 2017. She performed songs from her album as well as many others. Many of her In the Heights friends visited onstage, such as Karen Olivo, Janet Dacal, Priscilla Lopez and Lin-Manuel Miranda. Christopher Jackson joined her as an opening night surprise; he joined her on her final show as well.[citation needed]

#FearlessSquadEdit

On May 4, 2017, Gonzalez started a social media group on Twitter and Instagram called the Fearless Squad, as an online movement open to anyone who embraces its defined moral rules:[citation needed]

  • Help each other when we fall
  • Embrace differences
  • Look for the good
  • Dream Big

Gonzalez named the title track of her first album, Fearless, in honor of the group.[citation needed]

Theatre creditsEdit

Year(s) Production Role Location Category
2001–02 Aida Amneris (Standby) Palace Theatre Broadway
2002–03 Dance of the Vampires Sarah Minskoff Theatre Broadway
2003–04 Aida Amneris Palace Theatre Broadway
2005 Lennon Mandy Broadhurst Theatre Broadway
2007 In the Heights Nina Rosario 37 Arts Theatre Off-Broadway
2008–10 Richard Rodgers Theatre Broadway
2010–11 Wicked Elphaba Gershwin Theatre Broadway
2016–present Hamilton Angelica Schuyler Richard Rodgers Theatre Broadway
2019 The Who's Tommy Mrs.Walker The John F. Kennedy Center for The Performing Arts Regional

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Kennedy, Mark (October 18, 2016). "Mandy Gonzalez steps into 'a dream role' in 'Hamilton'". APNews.com. Associated Press News.
  2. ^ a b Irwin, Kim (February 6, 1995). "Saugus Teen Dreams of Seeing Name in Lights". Los Angeles Daily News. Archived from the original on November 6, 2012.
  3. ^ Mandy Gonzalez on IMDb Pro.
  4. ^ Desk, BWW News. "Breaking News: Joshua Henry, Mandy Gonzalez & Jonathan Kirkland Will Join HAMILTON in Chicago and Broadway!". Retrieved August 1, 2016.
  5. ^ "Mandy Gonzalez Sets Date to Replace Renee Elise Goldsberry in Broadway's Hamilton". Retrieved August 25, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Gans, Andrew (September 12, 2008). "Diva Talk: Chatting with In the Heights Mandy Gonzalez Plus News of Fraser, Testa and Bundy". Playbill. Archived from the original on October 22, 2012. Retrieved September 19, 2011.
  7. ^ Latina Magazine (2003), Volume 8, Issues 1–4. Latina.com.
  8. ^ Wolf, S. (2011). Changed for Good: A Feminist History of the Broadway Musical. OUP USA. p. 193. ISBN 9780195378238. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  9. ^ Dominguez, Robert (May 12, 2001). "Laura's Legacy Eli's Comin' Showcases NYRO Hits". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 19, 2010.[dead link]
  10. ^ "New York Obies Theater Awards". villagevoice.com. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  11. ^ Diamond, Robert (August 12, 2003). "Interview with Mandy Gonzalez". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
  12. ^ Diamond, Robert (August 11, 2005). "Lennon Roundtable: Interview with Will Chase, Julie Danao, Mandy Gonzalez and Terrence Mann". BroadwayWorld.com. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
  13. ^ "Press Release: The Coast of Utopia". Drama Desk. May 20, 2007. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
  14. ^ Junco, Maite (May 29, 2009). "VIVA: Hitting the 'Heights' on PBS". New York Daily News. Retrieved July 23, 2010.
  15. ^ Gans, Andrew (January 14, 2011). "Diva Talk: Catching Up with Wicked Star Mandy Gonzalez". Playbill. Archived from the original on September 15, 2012.
  16. ^ "Wicked's Mandy Gonzalez on Relocating from The Heights to Oz". Broadway.com. April 5, 2010. Retrieved July 19, 2010.
  17. ^ Mandy Gonzalez on IMDb.

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit