Idina Kim Menzel (born May 30, 1971) is an American Tony Award winning actress, singer and songwriter who achieved fame for her performances as Maureen Johnson in the Broadway and film versions of Rent and Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, in the musical Wicked.
Following the success of Rent, Idina Released her first solo album entitled "Still I Can't Be Still" on "HollyWood Records", Idina also originated the role of Dorothy in Summer of ’42 at Goodspeed Opera House in Connecticut, starred as Sheila in the New York City Center Encores! production of Hair and appeared on Broadway as Amneris in Aida. Menzel earned a Drama Desk Award nomination for her performance as Kate in the Manhattan Theatre Club's 2000 off-Broadway production of Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party. Her other off-Broadway credits include the pre-Broadway run of Rent and The Vagina Monologues.
In 2003, Menzel starred alongside fellow actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth on Broadway in Wicked, a musical by Stephen Schwartz and Winnie Holzman based upon the popular 1995 Gregory Maguire novel. Idina received the 2004 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. On her second to last performance of Wicked on January 8, 2005, she fell through a trap door and cracked a lower rib. The injury prevented her from performing in the January 9 show. Menzel did, however, make a special out-of-costume appearance at that performance, performed her final song, and received a 5 minute long standing ovation. Menzel was replaced by Elphaba standby Shoshana Bean.
Following Wicked, Menzel appeared off-Broadway in the Public Theater's production of See What I Wanna See, a Michael John LaChiusa-penned musical whose run ended in December 2005. For her role as various characters, she received Drama Desk Award and Drama League Award nominations. She reprised her Tony Award-winning role as Elphaba in the West End production of Wicked when it opened at London's Apollo Victoria Theater on September 7, 2006. Menzel finished her run on December 30, 2006. Menzel was then succeeded by fellow Elphaba standby Kerry Ellis.
In 2008, Menzel headlined the Powerhouse Theatre's reading of Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik's musical Nero from July 11 to July 13, performing the role of Nero’s mistress Poppea.
Menzel performed at the 1998 Lilith Fair summer concert festival and continues to write and perform original music. She has toured extensively and frequently performs in various venues throughout New York City. She produced and released her debut album, Still I Can’t Be Still, for Hollywood Records in 1998. One single from the album, "Minuet," made the Radio & Records CHR/Pop Tracks chart at #48 in October 1998.
Her second album, Here, was released independently by Zel Records in 2004. Menzel has contributed to soundtracks, including those for the film The Other Sister and the ABC television dramedy Desperate Housewives. In 2007, she appeared on the Beowulf soundtrack singing the end credits song, "A Hero Comes Home".
Singer Ray Charles invited Menzel to duet with him on one of the tracks of his album Genius & Friends. The tracks were recorded in 1998 but were never produced, and it was one of his dying wishes that the album be made , a wish which was fulfilled posthumously.
Menzel has appeared on the cast recordings of Rent and Wicked, two of the best-selling cast recordings of all time, as well as the recordings of Lippa's The Wild Party, LaChiusa's See What I Wanna See, and the soundtrack of the film Rent. She recently signed a record deal with Warner Bros. Records.
A new studio version of Defying Gravity was released in May 2007 on iTunes. A remix of Defying Gravity was the "anthem" at the 2007 Gay Pride Parade and Festival in Los Angeles and that version appears on the official CD from the event. It has instantly become a collectors item.
Her third solo album, I Stand, was released on January 29, 2008. It includes many new tracks such as the lead single, "Brave" as well as the title track "I Stand" and a song released on EP, "Gorgeous". The album debuted at #58 in the Billboard 200 making it the first solo album by Menzel to make the charts. There are five versions of this album, the original version, the special limited edition, the iTunes version, the Barnes & Noble edition, and the Borders edition.
On April 1, 2008, Menzel kicked off her "I Stand" tour in support of her new album.
On September 14, 2008, Menzel performed in London's Hyde Park as part of an all-star celebration of legendary composer Andrew Lloyd Webber's 60th birthday on September 14. Each performer sang a song or two from Webber's lengthy songbook - Menzel's performances were "Don't Cry for Me Argentina" from Evita and "Unexpected Song" from Song & Dance.
Menzel is due to perform on For One Night Only, a UK variety show, on the 12th October.
|Start year||Production||Role||Notes and awards|
|2000||The Wild Party||Kate|
|Summer of '42||Dorothy|
|2002||The Vagina Monologues||Performer|
|Funny Girl (concert)||Fanny Brice|
|2005||See What I Wanna See|| Kesa / |
The Wife (Lily) /
The Actress (Deanna)
|Year||Film||Role||Notes and awards|
|2001||Kissing Jessica Stein||Bridesmaid|
|2002||Just a Kiss||Linda|
|2004||The Tollbooth||Raquel Cohen-Flaxman|
|2005||Rent||Maureen Johnson|| Nominated - 2005 Northeastern Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress|
Nominated - 2005 Northeastern Critics Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated - 2005 Broadcast Film Critics Award for Best Ensemble
Nominated - 2005 Washington Film Critics Award for Best Ensemble
|2006||Ask the Dust||Vera Rivkin|
|2007||ShowBusiness: The Road to Broadway||as Herself||Recorded her own rendition of "Lullaby of Broadway" for the end credits|
|1998||Hercules: The Animated Series||Circe||Episode ("Hercules and the Song of Circe")|
|2004||Rescue Me||Carol||Episode ("Sanctuary")|
|2005||Kevin Hill||Francine Prescott||Episodes ("Losing Isn't Everything", "Sacrificial Lambs")|
|1998||Still I Can't Be Still||Hollywood Records|
|2008||I Stand||Warner Bros. Records|
|1996||Rent (Original Broadway Cast Recording)||DreamWorks Records|
|2000||The Wild Party (Lippa) (Off-Broadway)||RCA Victor Broadway|
|2003||Wicked (Original Broadway Cast Recording)||Decca Records|
|2005||Rent (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)||Warner Bros. Records|
|2006||See What I Wanna See (2005 Original Off-Broadway Cast)||Sh-K-Boom Records|
|1998||"Follow If You Lead"||The Other Sister (Music From The Motion Picture)||Hollywood Records|
|2003||"How Shall I See You Through My Tears", "The Want of a Nail" (Backing vocals)||Camp (Music from the Motion Picture)||Decca Records|
|"I Saw Three Ships"||Broadway's Greatest Gifts: Carols for a Cure, Vol. 5||Rock-It Science Records|
|2005||"Damsel In Distress"||Music from and Inspired by Desperate Housewives||Hollywood Records|
|"I Will Be There"||Genius & Friends||Rhino Records|
|2007||"A Hero Comes Home" (End Credit Version)||Beowulf (Music from the Motion Picture)||Warner Bros. Records|