IDINA MENZEL (Florence)
Tony® Award winner Idina Menzel has a diverse career that spans the stage, films and music. Her career began as a teenager in her native Long Island, New York where she sang at weddings and bar mitzvahs which required learning a huge repertoire of songs from classic rock to Motown to jazz to the latest hit single from Madonna. While working toward her bachelor's degree in drama from New York University, Idina performed with rock bands in downtown clubs in New York City during the week and continued her wedding gigs on the weekend. In the winter of l995, Idina auditioned for the Broadway bound Rent and won the part of Maureen, an outspoken bi-sexual performance artist. The role earned Menzel her first Tony® nomination and the musical went on to win four Tony® Awards and the Pulitzer Prize.
In the fall of 2005, the actress starred in Michael John LaChiusa’s Off-Broadway musical See What I Wanna See, directed by Ted Sperling at The Public Theater. For her role as various characters, she received Drama Desk and Drama League nominations. She also earned a Drama Desk nomination for her performance as Kate in Manhattan Theater Club’s Off-Broadway original musical The Wild Party. She appeared as Sheila in the Encores! production of Hair and starred as Amneris in the Broadway production of the Tim Rice and Elton John Aida. Her other Off-Broadway credits include The Vagina Monologues. In 2003, Idina originated the role of ‘the green girl’, the misunderstood witch in the hit musical Wicked which included her show-stopping performance of the song Defying Gravity.
In 2007, she re-recorded and remixed Gravity and the song went on to become a Top 5 hit on the Billboard Dance Chart. Her star turn in Wicked won her a Tony® Award and huge critical acclaim. Menzel later reprised her role as Elphaba in the London production of Wicked for which she received the WhatsOnStage.com Theatregoers Choice Award. Film credits include starring roles in the Disney romantic fable, Enchanted, Rent and Robert Towne's Ask The Dust. The Robert Zemekis film and soundtrack album Beowulf starring Angelina Jolie and Anthony Hopkins includes a performance by Idina of the song A Hero Comes Home.
A skilful songwriter, Menzel writes and performs her own music. She has just released her solo album produced by Glen Ballard for her record label, Warner Bros. Inspired by artists like Bette Midler and Barbra Streisand – triple threats who have conquered stage, film and success as recording artists, Idina Menzel stands poised to embark on her ultimate challenge – a solo artist singing her own songs.