Idina Menzel, born Idina Mentzel, was born in Queens, New York, on May 30, 1971, to Stuart and Helene Mentzel. She dropped the "t" in her name when she was in her 20s because it was constantly pronounced wrong. It should be pronounced "Menzelle, - like French, but…more
Idina Menzel's vocal range is a Coloratura Soprano, which is the highest of all vocal ranges. She says, however, that she doesn't catagorize her voice because she doesn't "believe in a 'break.'"
Idina sang the Defying Gravity Remix and a new song, Gorgeous at Dance on the Pier 21 at the New York City Gay Pride event.
Lea Michele, the star of the hit Broadway musical Spring Awakening, has said, "I'm such a fan of Idina Menzel. I think she's made a wonderful career in this business. I love her so much, and any role she's played, I'd love to be able to follow in her footsteps."
Idina was set to appear in a 10-day limited run of Romantic Poetry, but has now cancelled. When asked why, her managers responded this: "Basically, her album which is now coming out sooner than expected, the album really needs her a lot this summer (back and fourth to LA, etc) so sadly she had to step back from the project. It was unfortunate because she loves jon patrick shanley and the piece and loved doing the benefit a couple weeks ago."
Miriam Margoyles, who plays Madam Morrible in the West End version of Wicked has said, "Idina Menzel is a force of nature."
Idina's single, Defying Gravity, is available on iTunes.
Idina attended the "Poiret: King of Fashion" Costume Institute Gala with Taye on May 7th, 2007.
Idina is set to appear in Romantic Poetry: The Musicale on May 21st. It's a one-night-only charity benefit at The Lucille Lortel Theatre.
The Tony Award that Idina won for Wicked is sitting on a shelf in her living room.
Idina usually orders food out because she can't cook.
Some of Idina's favorite costumes she's worn include the Act 2 Elphaba costume from Wicked that has threads sewn in to look like cobwebs, her Wild Party costume, and Maureen's black leather pants in Rent.
If Idina was stranded on a desert island with the essentials and she could have one extra item of her choosing she would bring sunblock spf 50.
Idina is a decent tennis player with a good backhand.
Hampstead Heath is Idina's favorite park in London.
When she's down, Idina likes to listen to old Madonna and other 80s music.
Idina's biggest pet peeve is when people screw up but don't admit that they're wrong.
Idina has picked up the British phrase "Darling heart" while she was in London performing as Elphaba.
Idina loves that she has fan sites but doesn't read things off the internet because people post a lot of really brutal things.
Idina loves The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand.
Idina was attracted to See What I Wanna See because it was a Michael John LaChiusa piece.
Idina is intimidated by brainy people. She usually stays quiet so she won't say something stupid.
Idina does Bikram yoga.
Idina has kept various scripts with notes in them, her Elphaba hat from Wicked, opening night cards and gifts, and her second act Maureen wardrobe from Rent as memorabilia from the shows she has done.
Idina is afraid of snakes, mice, and roaches.
In an article, Julia Murney said, "This show [Wicked] is written in Idina Menzel's pocket. And I know Dee, I've worked with Dee. I know how she sings, and I spent every night of The Wild Party sitting in a chair right behind her during her big number, in astonishment. Some nights I wanted to stand up and [say] to the audience, Do you have any idea what she's doing right now? She's amazing! . . . Because she's just so completely balls-to-the-wall in her singing.
In 1998 for the release of her first solo album, Still I Can't Be Still, her fans started "Operation: Diva Strike" to promote her. They made posters and flyers and bombarded MTV and VH1 with requests for her music video, Minuet.
Idina performed in the Mermaid concert for Radio 2 BBC with Josh Groban on February 16, 2007. She performed the song Where Do I Begin from her upcoming album as well as The Prayer, a duet with Josh Groban.
Idina's favorite color was formerly green, but after performing as Elphaba in Wicked, she can't wear it without people thinking she's embodying Elphaba. She now likes deep purple.
There have been rumors that her name was originally Adena, and her kindergarten teacher spelled it wrong and the name stuck. This is not true. Her first name has always been Idina.
Idina's nickname is "Dee".
Idina's new movie, Enchanted, with Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey (Grey's Anatomy's McDreamy) comes out on November 21, 2007.
Idina's parents got a divorce when she was only 15 years old.
Idina's father, Stuart Mentzel, sells pajamas. Idina's mother, Helen Mentzel, is a psychologist.
Idina recieved a BFA from New York University's Tisch School of the Arts in 1993.
Idina worked as a wedding singer for years (from ages 16 to 24) until she was cast in the off-Broadway production of "Rent". Her last wedding was on New Year's Eve, 1995, during "Rent" rehearsals.
The term "Tidina" refers to Taye Diggs and Idina Menzel as a couple and was coined by RENTheads (aka hardcore Rent fans) in 1996.
Idina attended high school and shared an orthodontist with Rent co-star Adam Pascal when they were young. Adam heard about the Rent auditions through Idina's boyfriend at that time.
Idina broke a rib on her left side by falling through a trap door during what was supposed to be her third-to-last production of Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre on Broadway [January 8, 2005].
Idina married Taye Diggs on January 11, 2003 in Jamaica (the same location where Taye filmed "How Stella Got Her Groove Back", his breakout role).
Idina is a graduate of Syosset High School.
Idina played Dorothy in her Fifth Grade class play.
Idina has a younger sister named Cara.
In the movie RENT, Idina performed her solo, Over the Moon, live instead of lip synching because it would have nearly impossible to go back and forth between the lip synching and speaking. Also she felt that in rock music, a live performance is necceasry for it to be realistic.
Idina filmed the movie Enchanted in 2006.
Genius and Friends
RENT - Original Broadway Cast Recording
RENT - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
See What I Wanna See - Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording
Still I Can't Be Still
The Other Sister - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
The Wild Party - Original Off-Broadway Cast Recording
Wicked - Original Broadway Cast Recording
Wicked (London Production) - Elphaba Thropp
See What I Wanna See - Kesa/The Wife (Lily)/The Actress (Deanna)
Wicked - Elphaba Thropp
The Vagina Monologues - Preformer
Hair - Sheila
Aida - Princess Amneris
Summer of '42 - Dorothy
The Wild Party - Kate
RENT - Maureen Johnson
Enchanted - Nancy
Ask the Dust - Vera Rivkin
No Day But Today: The Story of RENT - Herself
Show Business - Herself
RENT - Maureen Johnson
The Tollbooth - Raquel Cohen-Flaxman
Water - Jessy Turner
Wicked: The Road to Broadway - Herself
Camp - Singer
Just a Kiss - Linda
Kissing Jessica Stein - Bridesmate
The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson - Herself
The View (10/29/2004, 11/25/2005) - Herself
Ellen: The Ellen DeGeneres Show (11/21/2005) - Herself
Today (11/12/2003, 8/4/2005, 11/16/2005) - Herself
Live With Regis and Kelly (10/13/2005) - Herself
The 59th Annual Tony Awards - Herself
Broadway: The American Musical - Herself
Kevin Hill (Losing Isn't Everything, Sacrificial Lambs) - Francine Prescott
Broadway on Broadway - Herlself
Recuse Me (Sanctuary) - Carol
The 58th Annual Tony Awards - Herself
Macy Thanksgiving Day Parade 2003 - Herself
Late Late Show With David Lettermen (11/18/2003) - Herself
Disney's Hercules (Hercules and the Song of Circe) - Circe
The 51st Annual Tony Awards - Herself
The Rosie O'Donnell Show (6/21/1996) - Herself
The tattoo that appears on Idina's back in the RENT movie was fake.
Idina is Jewish. She never had a bat mitzvah, and says she isn't really religious.
Idina idolizes Barbara Streisand.
On Taye and Idina's first date, they saw the movie Twister.
Idina's height is somewhere between 5'4" and 5'6". Almost all biographies have her height listed as 5'4", but recently she has been answering differently every time she's been asked.
Her favorite ice-cream flavor is rocky road.
Idina has "jazz cats" named Coltrane and Ella. She also has a dog named Sammy Davis with husband Taye Diggs.
Idina Menzel is left-handed.
Her name is pronounced Uh-DEE-Nuh MEN-Zelle.
Idina Menzel: (About Defying Gravity) This song changed my life!
Idina Menzel: Sometimes you don't know how you're going to make it through, and you need some Twizzlers.
Idina Menzel: London was such an amazing experience. I couldn't have asked for a better way to make my west end debut than with that show. The cast was fantastic and they quickly became my second family-I miss them a lot.
Idina Menzel: (When asked how to get over terminal shyness) I think I take more chances on stage then I do in real life but you can't learn anything if you don't challenge yourself. And don't say "terminally". If you love to perform then you have no choice, just keep training and focus on the words or the music whenever you find yourself slipping back inside yourself. You're not doing anyone any favors if you withhold your talents from the world.
Idina Menzel: I'm a big baby when it comes to snakes and mice... and roaches!!!
Idina Menzel: (About what she tries to save from each show she's in) I always try to save something. I keep scripts with my notes in them. I have my Elphaba witches hat. I keep opening night cards and gifts. What else? Oh I kept my Act 2 Maureen wardrobe too.
Idina Menzel: (About what intimidates her) Really brainy people. I tend to get a little quiet, not wanting to say something stupid.
Idina Menzel: (About the possibility of a Wicked movie) Oh I would love to, but I'm pretty sure they aren't planning that in the near future.
Idina Menzel: (When asked what her favorite gift from a fan is) That's too difficult a question. I am in awe of the generosity and love sent my way. I have received a countless amount of cards and pictures and creative gifts. I do adore the really young kids that write their own cards in green crayon. I framed a particular drawing that said "Dear Elphaba, I thought it was sad that you thought you weren't pretty because I think you're beautiful". I keep that in my dressing room.
Idina Menzel: (When asked what attracted her to See What I Wanna See) Michael John LaChiusa.
Idina Menzel: (When asked her favorite thing to do in NYC when she has free time) Go to the theater.
Idina Menzel: (about her new haircut) Just felt like a change. I've had the same haircut forever! And yes of course my family and hubby love it, but they have to say that right?
Idina Menzel: I have that syndrome of thinking I have to pee when I really don't. That's annoying.
Idina Menzel: I don't get rid of my nerves. I just try to embrace them and channel them and focus on the person in front of me. Sometimes nerves can get the best of us but sometimes we can do the unexpected and have a real spontaneous and idiosyncratic moment.
Idina Menzel: (About her biggest pet peeves) When people screw up and they don't admit they are wrong.
Idina Menzel: (About British expressions she picked up while in London) There's a wonderful old saying; a term of endearment that they use "Darling Heart". I love that.
Idina Menzel: (About her pets) I'm like a proud mother and cannot choose between my children. I will say, the cats are not happy about the dog taking over the apatment. And I spent all of last night cleaning up dog poop on the bathroom floor. Apparently he ate something weird in the park.
Idina Menzel: I try not to read too much online. People are brutal. And for every good thing there is something really hurtful out there. So I'm staying away!
Idina Menzel: I loved performing "Life of the Party". Kate was so irreverent. I love jazz influenced music.
Idina Menzel: Julia Murney is beautiful. She is a great loyal supportive person with an incredible voice.
Idina Menzel: I love The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand. All the women in her books are forces of nature.
Idina Menzel: (About RENT 10) UNFORGETTABLE. Surreal being back on that stage. What a great night.
Idina Menzel: I can't wait to get back to Broadway. I'm focusing on the album for the next few months but as soon as I find something I'm passionate about I am right there.
Idina Menzel: I'd love to open a camp focusing on the arts accessible to kids from all income brackets.
Idina Menzel: I'm a decent tennis player. Good Backhand.
Idina Menzel: I would love to be in WEST SIDE STORY, but I'm not a Maria or Anita. So that won't work.
Idina Menzel: I would like to get another job in London or tour there. I miss my friends.
Idina Menzel: I'm home now. But I fell in love with London. London has tons of exquisite parks. Each with their own distinct character. Hampstead Heath is my favorite.
Idina Menzel: (About her first time at stage door) The entire RENT experience was so overwhelming that I don't remember that. It was a very emotional time.
Idina Menzel: (About her favorite color) Used to be GREEN. Emerald is my birth stone. But now when I wear green people think I'm embodying Elphaba and I really just like green. So now I like DEEP PURPLE.
Idina Menzel: I would love to work with Matt Damon.
Idina Menzel: (When asked what music she listens to to cheer her up) Old Madonna and other music from the 80s.
Idina Menzel: (About doing pop on her upcoming album) POP just means, not show tunes. Of course I have nothing against those, but I'm just trying to explore a different side of myself.
Idina Menzel: I am a huge movie buff. Anything Julia Roberts... Meryl Streep. KRAMER VS KRAMER. SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION. GOODFELLAS. I'm all over the map.
Idina Menzel: Of course I get imtimidated but so far I've worked with actors that have gone out of their way to make me feel comfortable, and you would be surprised at how much respect they have for us Broadway people. They usually sing my songs back to me and want to act out scenes from shows I've been in.
Idina Menzel: (About how she montivates herself) Well I always take another steamy shower and I revocalize. But also, I have received the most wonderful videos of young people singing Wicked songs in their living rooms. When I am feeling exhausted on stage I have often found myself thinking of these adorable kids and I imagine they are in the audience.
Idina Menzel: (About three things she always has in her refrigerator) I don't have three things. I order out constantly and I can't cook!
Idina Menzel: (About her new movie Enchanted) Oh I actually have just one song and I don't know if it will make the movie but Stephen Schwartz and Alan Menken wrote it.
Idina Menzel: I love so many of my costumes and feel very fortunate to have worked with some incredibly talented designers. Some of my favorites are the Act 2 Elphaba dress with all the layers. There are these little cotton threads that resemble cobwebs in the skirt. I don't know if anyone can see them but I love the detail. I also loved my Wild Party costume. And... oh yeah I loved Maureen's black vinyl stretch pants too!
Idina Menzel: Having lived with Elphaba for so long on Broadway, it was so great to have some time away from her so I could discover new things to bring to the London version and it was so amazing to collaborate with director Joe Montello again.
Idina Menzel: I'm a really bad rapper, but I really love to do it.
Idina Menzel: (About the London cast of "Wicked") I can never understand what these people are saying and they're speaking English!
Idina Menzel: (About Taye) He's the kind of guy that becomes friends with the girl first, and snuggles, and then gets you to answer all his questions about ex-boyfriends, so when you're finally married, you want to kill yourself for telling him all your private stuff.
Idina Menzel: Yeah, just because I'll be up in my dressing room putting on green make-up for an hour doesn't mean I don't want to be invited to all the cool places. The role itself is very isolating. They're all so mean to me on stage. So I've made it clear I need a little TLC off stage.
Idina Menzel: (About her wedding to Taye Diggs) Our wedding was on the beach in Jamaica, and it was supposed to rain but never did. The sky was blue and just unbelievably passionate-looking.
Idina Menzel: (To Gregory Maguire, Wicked author) I knew why I fell through the trapdoor, it was because you always thought the witch should die.
Idina Menzel: (About doing the movie Rent versus Broadway Rent) We had a sense of like performing for the crew, 'cause the crew loved it, they loved hearing the music blasting.
Idina Menzel: (About Rent director Chris Columbus) We like him 'cause he hired us.
Idina Menzel: (on the craze surrounding RENT) It's hard to absorb and to allow all that attention and accolades for Rent because the rest of the country doesn't know who we are. Once I walk out of the door of Rent, and I'm on the subway, it doesn't matter. It's an exaggerated sense of fame.
Idina Menzel: Things happen for a reason, and in their own time.
Idina Menzel: I just want to keep working and keep growing.
Idina Menzel: (About working with her husband Taye Diggs in the RENT movie) Working with him was great! It was fun to see each other in the costumes that we were wearing when we were flirting in the first place!
Idina Menzel: (About the translation of RENT from stage to screen) Chris Columbus is so passionate about it and by hiring us, and by having Jonathan Larson's family around, he's kept the integrity of the work. And with the film, there's a lot more you can do with a look or a glance that would have gotten lost of stage. I never thought that when this movie got made we would be in it, just because its Hollywood - they don't hire unknowns.
Idina Menzel: I do feel deep in my heart that I will always work in theatre. I will be able to work on theatrical projects, and I'm very proud of that.
Idina Menzel: With rock music, you can't just mouth the words. You want to see veins bulging and spit flying.
Idina Menzel: (About her career in theatre) You have these wonderful nights when you go out there and you kick ass and you feel, 'Oh yeah, this is why I do it.' I love being in front of an audience.
Idina Menzel: I'm not really comfortable living in L.A. I'm prideful about living in New York. A lot of the successes I've had have happened here.
Idina Menzel: (About husband Taye Diggs) It was lust at first sight...then we decided we had nothing in common. He's hot and sexy and all that, but deep down he's just a really sweet, vulnerable, guy.
Idina Menzel: Making RENT was such a great experience. We documented this thing that had changed us all. And making movies is fun. But I'll always do theatre; it's what's embraced me. I love everything about it.
Idina Menzel: (About her first experiences in RENT) I was so green. I didn't have any technique - I was just flying by the seat of my pants!
Idina Menzel: (About her character Maureen in RENT) Maureen originally lived in Connecticut, but once they met me, they decided she was from Long Island! There's a part of me that will always be in the character.
Idina Menzel: (About performing in musicals) It's definitely easier for me when music's involved. It's almost like I get the characters through the melodies.
Idina Menzel: There's something so glorious about filming a musical - every day we'd come it and it would be balls-to-the-walls, singing your guts out. There was a great energy.
Idina Menzel: (About RENT) The best part for me is that when I did RENT 10 years ago, I met all these wonderful people, including my husband and Jonathan Larson . . . We all kinda bonded in a way that not a lot of casts do. Now that I'm revisiting the play, I'm tripping on how lucky I was to have that experience back then.
Idina Menzel: The music business is the hardest and most cut-throat of all, so I'm just trying to enjoy the process and looking forward to working with some of the best song writers and producers.
Idina Menzel: I feel like times are changing; a couple of years ago it was harder to go from theatre or TV into music...I'm embracing the idea of doing it all.
Idina Menzel: At first you take the work you can get, but now I feel like I have the choice, it shouldn't be taken lightly. I'm appreciating the responsibility I have in helping people honor their individuality and play the underdog.
Idina Menzel: I want to be one of those women who can do everything. Wicked was the best time of my life, but eight shows a week can really burn you out. . . But live performance is where I feel the most at home.
Idina Menzel: (About being in Ask The Dust) It was my first big movie experience, so for it to be a Robert Towne movie and then find out Colin Farrell was the one opposite me in all my scenes was just so exciting.
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