Tony Award-winning singer-actress Idina Menzel to perform at Smith Center


Idina Menzel wouldn't say what she plans to sing during her Sunday performance at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts.

She wants the flexibility to change her mind, if so inclined, and let the audience hear firsthand the new material she's been working on for her North American tour.

But it's a good bet that fans will hear some of the material the Tony Award-winning actress is most known for: music from the Broadway musicals "Wicked," in which she played Elphaba, the green-faced witch, and the original Broadway production of "Rent."

Expect some material from "Idina Menzel Live: Barefoot at the Symphony," a concert recently broadcast on PBS and released on CD and DVD.

Maybe she will even perform some music from her role as Rachel's mother on the hit television series "Glee."

She's made several guest appearances on the blockbuster show, growing her fan base in an unexpected way. People recognize her more now for her "Glee" role, Menzel says, but when fans approach and strike up a conversation, they usually talk about her roles in "Rent and "Wicked."

Fans still tell her that "Rent" changed their lives.

The rock musical, which deals with HIV and AIDS, gave Menzel her first role on Broadway and brought her together with fellow cast member Taye Diggs. The two married nine years ago and now have a 2-year-old son.

"They just always have a time in their lives that those shows chronicle for them," Menzel says. "A certain song, a story, or someone they lost. ... It resonates so deeply for them."

Menzel launched a 30-date summer tour this month. Eventually, she plans to return to Broadway, although she isn't working on a show now.

Contact reporter Sonya Padgett at spadgett@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4564. Follow @StripSonya on Twitter.

 

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