In interviews with Menzel, both before she became so recognized for Rent and during her time with Wicked, the biggest thing I’ve noticed is her humility. When you see Menzel in interviews, you would never expect she was this woman with such amazing talent. She seems so sweet, you just want to invite her over for game night and play Monopoly or something.
I think it’s that warmness that made her so excellent in Wicked. Okay, so I never saw Menzel’s Elphaba, but I’ve listened to the CD a million times. There’s her astonishing “Defying Gravity” which has justifiably wowed CD-buyers all over the country. There’s such daring and inspiration in her performance of that awesome Stephen Schwartz song, which, I must add, also always moved my students when I’d play for them her performance from the Tonys.
But I think there’s another song that is equally impressive in showcasing Menzel’s talents. Her “I’m Not That Girl,” another great Stephen Schwartz song, is so vulnerable and pained. It’s not a self-pity sort of interpretation but that of a girl resigned to the life she’s been given, accepting it while longing for something more. It’s an entirely different, yet extremely important, side of Elphaba. As impressive as “Defying Gravity” is, her “I’m Not That Girl” is equally so.
Word is that Idina Menzel will be releasing a CD through Warner Bros. in January. I can’t wait. Let’s hope the CD includes some great pictures of Menzel as well as her amazing talent.
Website: http://www.idinamenzel.com/ (Check this out for a new version of “Defying Gravity”)
the Broadway Mouth
September 20, 2007