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Creator / Idina Menzel

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"You can't be the vulnerable, transparent, raw person required to be an artist, and then cover that stuff up and meet the world with some kind of armor on. It just doesn't go."
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Idina Kim Menzel (born Idina Kim Mentzel, May 30, 1971 in New York City, New York) is a Broadway icon. Her breakout role came in the form of Maureen in RENT, which earned her a Tony nomination for Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical. (She went on to reprise that role in the movie adaptation.) Later, she won a Tony for playing the main character of Wicked, Elphaba, opposite Kristin Chenoweth's Glinda. She was nominated for a Tony for a third time for playing the main character of If/Then.

Had a recurring role in Glee as Shelby Corcoran and is currently best known as the voice of Queen Elsa of Arendelle in Disney's Frozen, songs included. She was formerly married to RENT costar Taye Diggs, with whom she has a son; they divorced in December 2014. She has been married since 2017 to Aaron Lohr, whom she costarred with in the 2005 film adaptation of RENT as well as an Off-Broadway production of See What I Wanna See.

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Selected theatre:

  • RENT (1994/1996 Broadway) as Maureen Johnson (original)
  • Aida (2001 Broadway) as Amneris
  • Wicked (2003 Broadway, 2006 West End) as Elphaba (original)
  • If/Then (2014) as Elizabeth Vaughan (original)

Selected filmography:

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Discography:


Her roles provide examples of:

  • Actor Allusion: On her Christmas: A Season of Love album in 2019, "We Wish You the Merriest" is a duet between Idina and Josh Gad (Olaf). So in the bridge between the first and second verses:
    Gad: Look at us, Idina, we're like Barbara, and Bette, and Cher
    We're like Crosby and Hope, Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney
    Or Elsa, and Olaf
  • Actor-Inspired Element: As is widely documented, Elsa was written to be a villain. "Let It Go" was her Villain Song, after she embraced a Then Let Me Be Evil attitude. When Idina recorded the song, she sang it with such a yearning vulnerability that the directors were compelled to change Elsa to a Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds - who never does anything wrong.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • On Glee it was long noted that Lea Michele (Rachel) resembled her. It eventually was revealed that Shelby (Idina's character) was Rachel's biological mother.
    • The infamous "Adele Dazeem" gaffe made by John Travolta at the 2014 Oscars when he misread Idina's name was added to the playbills for her new play If/Then, listing her as the star of Farfignugen and Nert. Has also become a Running Gag to claim it was "Adele Dazeem" singing when Idina doesn't hit every note in a song.
  • Heaven Above: Her song "I Stand" includes the lyric "I don't know if the sky is Heaven, but I pray anyway." Menzel seems to find any non-vertical prayer entirely ludicrous, in large part because of this ancient connection between the sky and the divine.
  • "I Am Becoming" Song: "Defying Gravity". "Let It Go". She belted them both out of the park.
  • Ink-Suit Actor: Her guest spot as Circe on Hercules: The Animated Series. Obviously also as Nancy in the animated portion of Enchanted. To a less extent, the shape of Elsa's eyes and mouth and the way her mouth forms words being based on Menzel's natural speaking voice.
  • Large Ham: In terms of her singing, her most beloved songs ("Defying Gravity", "Let It Go," and "Into the Unknown") includes moments where she just belts it out.
  • Pimped-Out Dress: In Enchanted, Nancy Tremaine wears a Fairytale Wedding Dress, complete with Giant Poofy Sleeves and a Gold tiara, when she marries Edward.
    • It may have been a voiceover for Menzel, but Elsa wears a couple in Frozen (2013), a blue and black one for her coronation, and then an ice-themed slinky dress made through Gorgeous Garment Generation. Frozen II adds even more wear for her, including her gorgeous final white dress.
    • Even in Wicked, Elphaba's outfit is supposed to look like rags, but it's done by giving the dress loads and loads of details.

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