By Andrew Gans
19 Dec 2003
News, views and reviews about the multi-talented women of the musical theatre and the concert/cabaret stage.
There has never been any doubt about Idina Menzel’s vocal prowess. From the moment she stepped on to the Broadway stage as Maureen in the late Jonathan Larson’s Rent, it was clear that the young performer possessed a thrilling belt. She subsequently demonstrated her powerful tones in the Manhattan Theatre Club’s production of The Wild Party, the City Center Encores! mounting of Hair and the all star Funny Girl benefit concert for the Actors’ Fund of America. However, with her starring role in Stephen Schwartz’s Wicked, Menzel has taken a great leap forward as an actress. She is currently offering her most nuanced performance to date, making us care greatly for the fate of her character, Elphaba, the not-so-Wicked Witch of the West. Menzel is funny, often touching and delivers a passionately sympathetic performance of a woman whose outward differences force her to confront the ignorance of those around her. I recently had the chance to chat with the soft-spoken Menzel, who will soon welcome husband Taye Diggs — another former Renter — to the cast of Wicked for a limited engagement. That brief conversation follows.
Question: How does it feel being back on Broadway?
Idina Menzel: It feels great. [Laughs.] It’s a great role, and I’m proud to be in it.