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Carmen Cusack was born on April 25, 1971 in Denver, Colorado. She is a Broadway favorite and a Grammy and Tony-nominated actress.
Cusack trained in opera, ballet, jazz, and tap and graduated from the University of North Texas with a performing arts degree. Her professional stage breakthrough occurred in the UK, where she starred as Christine Daaé in The Phantom of the Opera in Manchester. The role led to her West End debut as Fantine in Les Misérables and further West End roles in The Secret Garden, Personals, and Saucy Jack and the Space Vixens.
After returning to the States, Cusack was cast as the standby for Elphaba in the Chicago production of Wicked beginning in December 2006, and she would ultimately assume the role full-time in the show’s national tour from October 2007 through November 2008. She also starred as Elphaba in the Australian production of Wicked in the summer of 2009.
Cusack next played Nellie Forbush in the First National Tour of South Pacific, beginning in San Francisco in September 2009 and earning her a Helen Hayes Award nomination. She would make her Off-Broadway debut as Lynn Gardner in the MCC Theater production of Carrie – The Musical at the Lucille Lortel Theatre from January through April 2012.
Cusack went on to star in a number of regional productions, including Sunday in the Park with George for Chicago Shakespeare Theater in 2012, Ragtime for Milwaukee Repertory Theater in 2013, and First Wives Club at the Oriental Theatre in Chicago in 2015.
Following out-of-town tryouts in San Diego and Washington, D.C., Cusack made her Broadway debut as Alice Murphy in Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s bluegrass musical Bright Star at the Cort Theatre in February 2016. Her breakthrough performance earned her a first Tony Award nomination in the category of Best Actress in a Musical, alongside a Theatre World Award and nominations for a Drama Desk Award, Drama League Award, and Outer Critics Circle Award. In 2017, she also received her first Grammy Award nomination for Best Musical Theater Album. Cusack went on to reprise her performance in the show’s national tour in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Salt Lake City. She also starred in New York City Center’s productions of Sunday in the Park with George and Call Me Madam, as well as Sondheim on Sondheim at The Hollywood Bowl in 2017.
On screen, Cusack has appeared opposite Tom Hanks in 2019’s A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood and in the Facebook Watch series Sorry for Your Loss.