Author: Heather

Idina Menzel Honors Adam Sandler at Mark Twain Prize for American Humor Gala

Idina Menzel helped toast Adam Sandler at the Kennedy Center in D.C. on Sunday night! Adam was honored with the 2023 Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. Idina opened up the show dressed as “Opera Man,” a character from his days as a cast member on “Saturday Night Live” and serenaded him with a comedic number. The show will air on CNN this Sunday, March 26, at 8 p.m. Eastern.

As a side note, a release date for their next movie, ‘You Are SO Not Invited to My Bat Mitzvah!’, has not been announced yet, but stay tuned.

You Can Now Send A Personalized Idina Greeting Card!

We ALL want Idina Menzel to sing to us on our birthday, right? Now you can send a digital card with a personalized ’80s style birthday performance by Idina! You can either personalize and send a video using the SmashUps app or through the web. It’s so well done and fun! There are tons of names to choose from as well as generic titles like mom, dad, friend, etc. You can see the one I made for myself by swiping to the second slide below. I LOVE it!

More photos are in the gallery:

Announcing PROUD MOUSE by Cara Mentzel & Idina Menzel!

Mr. Schu Reads shared the adorable cover of Cara Mentzel and Idina Menzel’s second children’s book, Proud Mouse! The book is illustrated by Jaclyn Sinquett, who also illustrated Loud Mouse. Here’s the book description:

Cara Lee is a proud mouse. She is proud of her big sister Dee. She is proud of her specially decorated journal. And now she’s proud to become what she’s always wanted to be: a student. But her first day of school is different than she imagined. Everyone keeps comparing her to Dee. But who is Cara Lee? When you have a big sister with such a LOUD talent, how can you find room to shine in your own way?

Cara further elaborated on the plot in an interview with Mr. Schu Reads, saying “Proud Mouse tells the story of Cara Lee, a little sister who is very proud of Dee, her talented, big, and loud sister. So proud, in fact, she wishes she had bigger paws to clap with. On Cara Lee’s first day of school, it seems everyone wants to know if she is just like Dee, and Cara Lee doesn’t know. But she is a mouse full of curiosity and when it’s suggested that sometimes it can be easier to see yourself clearly if you stand alone, Cara Lee heads out into the forest to do just that.”

Idina also commented, saying “[Music is] my go-to form of self-expression, both melodically and lyrically. Now, as a children’s book author, music is part of my writing voice. The refrains in Loud Mouse and Proud Mouse can help children connect with our characters and, as my sister, teacher and co-author of the books would say, music helps early readers access and engage with print.”

PROUD MOUSE will be released September 12 but is available for pre-order now!

FROZEN 3 in Development

Very exciting news! Disney’s CEO, Bob Iger, announced that Frozen 3 is in development! That’s all we know at the moment and it’s likely still years away, but I’m excited! Just for reference, FROZEN II was announced as in development in March 2015, Idina didn’t start recording until the Fall of 2017 and it was eventually released in November 2019!

Idina Menzel to Star in New Stage Musical ‘Redwood’

Huge news! Per Variety, Idina Menzel will star in ‘Redwood,’ a new musical which will premiere as the final production of La Jolla Playhouse’s 2023-2024 season! La Jolla Playhouse revealed the following description:

Idina plays Jesse, a successful businesswoman, mother and wife. She seems to have it all, but inside, her heart is broken. Finding herself at a turning point, Jesse leaves everyone and everything behind, gets in her car and drives… and drives. Thousands of miles later, she hits the ancient forests of Northern California, where a chance meeting and a leap of faith change her life forever. In the presence of the magnificent, towering redwoods, Jesse finds strange and powerful connections, an unexpected sense of community, and a chance at healing.

Idina first began developing the musical almost 20 years ago when she approached Tina Landau about collaborating. It was initially conceived as a bio-musical about Julia Butterfly Hill, an environmental activist famous for living in a redwood for more than two years in the late ‘90s to prevent loggers from cutting it down. Tina wrote the book and will also direct.

“I subscribe to this feeling very often in my life of wanting to just escape,” Menzel told Variety in a joint interview with Landau on Wednesday. “I’m more of a recluse than people think I am… I definitely grapple with that a lot in my life, just like, ‘Can I just put it all down and leave and do something different?’”

With music by Kate Diaz and lyrics by Diaz and Landau, Menzel said, “What’s so exciting working with Tina is that she definitely knows how — and she’s guiding Kate in this as well — to write for me, but also how to challenge me and to put me in places that are not formulaic or not my typical go-to. It’s opening my vernacular and forcing me to find new colors and places in my voice that I think are just fun, and have different emotional connections for me to the character and hopefully open up different chakras, if you will, for other people when they’re listening.”

In some aspects, ‘Redwood’ will be an interactive experience for the audience. “The design is not really a set as so much as it’s going to be making use of some really exciting, cutting-edge multimedia interactive technology that’s never been used in the American musical theater before,” Landau said. She also explained that it was quarantine in the early days of the pandemic that finally gave her the time to sit down to concentrate and work on writing the show.

It all sounds very exciting! You’ll have lots of time to plan a trip because the show will premiere in February 2024. Stay tuned for more info!

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