‘Frozen’ and Broadway star Idina Menzel: ‘I still feel like a rookie’
You’ve probably heard Idina Menzel’s voice somewhere. It’s also likely, however, that you’ve only ever heard Menzel’s voice in character.
As the actress behind Elsa in Disney’s “Frozen,” Elphaba in the musical sensation “Wicked” and Maureen Johnson in the original Broadway staging of “Rent,” Menzel has enjoyed decades of success on the stage and screen.
But this summer, the vocal powerhouse is stepping out of character for her official concert tour, which stops at Redmond’s Marymoor Park on Tuesday, Aug. 22.
A prolific singer-songwriter, Menzel has, to date, released five studio albums, the latest of which she’s in the midst of promoting nationwide.
Asked to describe the sound of her most recent record, the self-titled “idina.,” Menzel says it’s difficult to articulate. “Some songs are more piano-based, some are more acoustic guitar,” says Menzel during a recent telephone conversation. “But it’s all, you know — Oh God! It’s hard to describe your own music!”
Thematically, though, Menzel says “idina.” focuses a lot on relationships and starting over, an unintentional by-product of her 2014 split from “Rent” co-star Taye Diggs. “There’s a lot of music about relationships and trying to, you know, overcome, sort of to empower myself to find a better day and to start again, to start new, because I was … going through a divorce at the time,” she says.
With her original music, Menzel says she hopes to reach a bigger audience. “And if not, I just do it because I love to do it, and I learn more about myself. And it’s just another part of my artistic expression,” she says.
Menzel expresses a similar self-effacement when explaining why, over the years, she hasn’t been a consistent presence on film or television despite meaty roles in movies like “Enchanted” and a recurring gig on TV’s “Glee.”
“Oh no, I just take what I can get, man,” Menzel laughs. “People always think you can pick and choose every job.
“I still go and audition for TV pilots or films and that’s OK. It keeps me humble,” she adds. “If there’s anything that’s eluded me it’s just that I’d like to do more of that work, with some incredible actors that I could learn even more from … I still feel like a rookie in that sense.”
Can we at least expect another earthshaking showstopper like “Let It Go” from Menzel?
“I hope so,” Menzel says.