Legions of little girls may know Idina Menzel as the voice of Frozen’s Elsa, but it’s the Broadway musical stage where the Syosset native has made her mark, starting with being an original cast member of Rent and then moving on to other major Tony Award-winning/nominated Broadway roles in Wicked and If/Then. Currently on tour behind her latest record idina., Menzel took a break to share with Long Island Weekly her favorite musicals growing up.
West Side Story
“I saw the movie way before I ever saw the [stage] production of it. It’s one of my favorites of all time. [I guess what I love about it is] the Romeo and Juliet story and the music. I never put my finger on what that would be. I think that the way the music spoke to me….now I think back, I would never really have been an Anita or Maria, because I wasn’t a good dancer and I’m not really a high soprano (laughs). Back in the day I was. I was a soprano 1 in high school, so sometimes it’s kind of the parts I wanted to play.”
My Fair Lady
“This was another show with the kind of part that I wanted to play. This was also probably one of those musical movies that I saw with my mom and dad. So there’s also a memory of them sitting me down to watch this.”
Dreamgirls/A Star Is Born/Funny Girl
“I saw Dreamgirls when I was a little kid, so that was one of the first musicals that I ever saw and one of my favorites. Another one that I couldn’t be in for many years (laughs). [I’m a big fan of] the rising star kind of thing.
“I saw the Barbra Streisand version of A Star is Born—that was with my grandmother in the movie theater.
“Funny Girl—any Broadway show, which is often the case with a famous Broadway show where the lead character is coming to a new town and they’re making it where they are. That’s sort of the formula for a lot of great musicals. So I think as a budding performer the kind of hopefulness and seeing someone overcome rejection and make their mark on the world.”
Idina Menzel will be appearing on April 7 at Nassau Coliseum, 1255 Hempstead Tpke., Uniondale. For more information, visit www.nassaucoliseum.com or call 800-745-3000.