Thursday, May 30, 2013

May 30: Actress, singer, and songwriter Idina Menzel – “Rent,” “Wicked” “Glee” - is 42-years-old today.

Photo courtesy of Idina Menzel's Website

Idina Kim Menzel was born on May 30, 1971 in Queens, New York and raised in Syosset, New York. When Menzel was 15 years old, she began working as a wedding and bar mitzvah singer, a job which she continued throughout her time at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Drama at New York University prior to being cast in Jonathan Larson's rock musical Rent.

Menzel received a Tony nomination as Best Featured Actress in a Musical losing to Ann Duquesnay for Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk. Her final performance in the musical was on July 1, 1997.

Following the success of Rent, Menzel released her first solo album entitled Still I Can't Be Still on Hollywood Records, Menzel 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.

In 2003, Menzel starred with Kristin Chenoweth on Broadway in the musical Wicked. Menzel received the 2004 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her portrayal of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. During her  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 her final show on January 9th. 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.

Following Wicked, Menzel appeared off-Broadway in the Public Theater's production of See What I Wanna See,  for which she received Drama Desk Award and Drama League Award nomination.

Her second album, Here, was released 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. She also appears on Ray Charles's album Genius and Friends, which was released in 2005, on the track "I Will Be There."

In 2007, she appeared on the Beowulf soundtrack singing the end credits song, "A Hero Comes Home". Also in 2007, Menzel sang a duet with baritone British X-Factor runner-up Rhydian Roberts on his debut album.

Her third solo album, I Stand, was released in January  2008. It includes many new songs, including the lead single, "Brave", 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.

Menzel is the voice of The Snow Queen in the Disney animated film Frozen, scheduled for release in 2013. Menzel is also known for her portrayal of Shelby Corcoran on the Fox musical comedy-drama series, Glee.
For more about Idina, visit her Website at –


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