Tessa Roy ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor
This year has been quite a ride for Idina Menzel. She’ll be returning to Broadway this month in If/Then, her latest film Frozen has seen overwhelming success, and she’ll be singing the movie’s big hit “Let it Go” at tomorrow night’s Oscars. In preparation for her big performance, Emertainment Monthly gives you 8 reasons to love her, just in case you didn’t already.
1. Her résumé is incredible.
Hair, Aida, See What I Wanna See, of course Wicked and Rent, and now If/Then. Yep, all her. And that’s only part of her stage career. Menzel has also appeared in film and television, most notably in Glee, Enchanted, and a film adaptation of Rent. On top of all that, she’s made some of her own music and gone on her own international tour, which I’ll discuss in more detail later.
2. She can sing anything.
Well, duh. Menzel has a voice like no other. With an impressive range and the ability to belt like nobody’s business, this woman could sing the phone book and people would still willingly listen. Watch her absolutely kill this cover of “Don’t Rain on My Parade” where she throws in an adorable shoutout to Barbra Streisand.
3. Her solo work is amazing.
Menzel has made two albums, Still I Can’t Be Still and I Stand, and embarked on her own Barefoot at the Symphony tour. Her songs are stunningly beautiful, lyrically sound, and sometimes even empowering. Her ballad “Brave” is instantly uplifting and is perfect for one of those days where one just needs a little extra motivation.
4. She’s hilarious.
It’s impossible to not smile when listening to Menzel tell a story. She’s funny, sweet, and seems to be a genuinely kind person.Take this instance from 2012 with Ellen Degeneres, where she chats giddily about her son and some of her first singing gigs. The best point is her reaction to Degeneres pulling up an old photo from Menzel’s wedding singer days: “Is there a picture of me? Ooooh noooo.”
5. She has a great relationship with her fans.
She does 3 am Twitter q&a with her dedicated “Fanzels”, hangs out with them at stage door, and has even brought a few onstage to sing with her at her concerts. It’s pretty clear Menzel loves her fans, and they love her right back. The Fanzel force once started a #YourePerfectIdina hashtag on Twitter, which generated plenty of traffic even though it didn’t trend.
6. She has a soft side.
Menzel, along with the help of Taye Diggs, created A BroaderWay Foundation. The organization, according to its website, is “dedicated to offering girls from urban communities an outlet for self-expression and creativity through arts-centered programs.” It also emphasizes boosting self-esteem and leadership skills in its participants. I think it’s now pretty safe to confirm that my earlier assumption of her genuine kindness is true.
Like Jake Perlman stated in this Entertainment Weekly article, there are really no words for this. Just enjoy its brilliance.
8. She doesn’t hide the rough patches in her life.
#YourePerfectIdina didn’t just come out of nowhere. It was in response to a recent New York Times interview where Menzel admitted her career hasn’t always been the shining beacon of success it appears to be. She won a Tony for her portrayal of Elphaba in Wicked, but still struggled to find work in the years following, which took a toll on her self-confidence. “I really believed in myself so much more [in the past] than I do sometimes now,” she said. “There’s an insecurity that if I don’t show [my voice], people won’t like me. Who am I, if I’m not just this singer with big high notes?” Please refer yourself to #4 and #6, Ms. Menzel.
Menzel is arguably the most anticipated performer of the 2014 Oscars, so don’t miss her!