Gonzalez attended Saugus High School in Saugus, California. 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. 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 Office-Broadway in 2001.
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. She returned to Aida in 2003, as Amneris, opposite Deborah Cox and Will Chase.
In 2005, she appeared in the Broadway musical Lennon, based on the life of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, 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 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. In 2010, the opportunity finally arose for her to play Elphaba in the Broadway production of Wicked.
She replaced Dee Roscioli on March 23, 2010.
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.
On screen, Gonzalez can be seen in Across the Universe (directed by Julie Taymor), In God"s Hands, The Good Wife, Third Watch, Guiding Light, and recently finished filming Pieter Gaspersz" After. She can be heard on the Original Broadway cast Recording of In the Heights, and in the Disney animated film Mulan 2, as the singing voice of Su.