I is for Idina Menzel. Not Letting Go of Broadway

Before she originated the Broadway roles of Maureen the performance artist in “Rent,” Elphaba the green witch of “Wicked” and the two-sided Liz/Beth in “If/Then,” Idina Menzel had dreams of becoming a singer, not an actress: “I wanted to get up a sweat and throw my hair around.” She’s certainly gotten her wish, with albums and concert tours and a hit song with “Let It Go,” which she got to perform as herself, not just an animated character (and without being introduced as Adele Dazeem)

But it’s Broadway that took her out of Leonard’s of Great Neck, where she had performed “The Wind Beneath My Wings” at hundreds of bar mitzvahs,
It’s her Broadway (and Off-Broadway) career celebrated below (though the videos of her Broadway songs were often sung elsewhere.)

Watch the rest of the Broadway Alphabet series

Rent, 1996

Over the Moon
10th anniversary performance

Take Me Or Leave Me
1996 Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop

Take Me Or Leave Me
(from the movie)

The Wild Party, 2000

In this Off-Broadway musical by Andrew Lippa, Menzel sings “The Life of the Party”

Aida, 2000

As the replacement Amneris, she sang “My Strongest Suit”

Wicked, 2003

Menzel sings “Defying Gravity.” She won a Tony award for her performance.

If/Then, 2014

Always Starting Over
sung at the Tony Awards (She was nominated for the third time.)


Author: New York Theater

Jonathan Mandell is a 3rd generation NYC journalist, who sees shows, reads plays, writes reviews and sometimes talks with people.

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