Erika Smith (b. 22 April, 1977) was an American child actress in the 1980's and 1990's. In the 2nd USA 1988 tour of Les Miserables, she portrayed the character of Young Eponine Thenardier along with 10-year-old Claire Caldwell.
Erika was eleven years old with the cast, and stayed from July 1988 until Christmas of the same year. The cast was composed of singers and actors from across the country and toured in Boston, Baltimore, Chicago, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Miami. Erika, a native of Baltimore herself, stayed with her family while the cast was with Baltimore in the August.
Although Erika had no speaking or singing parts in the show, she was in fact noticed in some reviews for how watchable she was through her body language. The 2nd 1988 tour featured Young Eponine during the Master of the House number, and Erika flounced around onstage, helping to pick trinkets from customers' bags.
The picture to the right features her at the age of eleven, while she was with the cast.
Erika Josie Smith was born in Laurel, Maryland on 22 April, 1977 to Lindsay (nee Boyton) and Alexander Smith as the younger of two siblings. Her older sister Lorelai was born in September 1975. Erika's initial dreams were to be a ballerina, and as a young child she performed in many ballets.
Erika became prominent as an actress at the age of nine, when she cast as Minnie in a young peoples' production of Annie Get Your Gun in Laurel. She enjoyed it, and wanted to pursue theatre with the same troupe, but her family moved to Baltimore shortly afterwards. In Baltimore Erika joined up with a new troupe of young people's musical theatre.
With Les Mis Edit
After a brief stint in the chorus of Jesus Christ Superstar, Erika was recruited by a talent scout to audition for Les Mis. She was initially a runner-up for the role of Young Cosette, but was cast in the role of Young Eponine as she was considered a bit too tall for the more major child part.
Erika and her fellow child actors travelled around the United States, usually sharing hotel rooms. The girls got along well, but Erika and Claire grew prone to arguing.
After Les Mis Edit
After acting in Les Miserables, Erika returned to Baltimore and had a starring role in her young people's troupe original musical The Alien Girl. She continued acting until the age of 17, when she began to pursue recording musical covers, mostly of songs from the 60s and 70s, through to the early 2000s. At this point she was publishing her music covers on the Internet, but her channel was deleted in 2006. The more popular of her musical covers included [see list below]. Erika briefly explained to her followers that she had opened a CD store in Baltimore with her boyfriend. The video remained up for two weeks before also being deleted.
Today, Erika continues to work in the CD store with her now-husband.
List of Credits Edit
- Annie Get Your Gun........ Minnie; 1986; Laurel Company for Young Actors
- Jesus Christ Superstar.... Swing; 1987; Baltimore Centre for Children's Theatre
- Les Miserables..... Young Eponine; 1988; US National Tour
- The Alien Girl..... Clementine Path; 1990; Baltimore Centre for Children's Theatre (original production)
- The Sound of Music..... Louisa VonTrapp; 1991; Baltimore Centre for Children's Theatre
- The Lion King..... Swing; 1993; Baltimore Centre for Children's Theatre
- Cabaret...... Sally; 1994; Baltimore Centre for Children's Theatre
Popular Musical Covers Edit
- American Pie (at age 18)
- Times They Are A-Changin' (at age 18)
- Over the Rainbow (at age 18)
- Hallelujah (at age 19)
- The Sound of Silence (at age 19)
- Imagine (age 20)
- Think of me (age 20)