Friday, February 1, 2008

Stand for Idina Menzel

On Tuesday of this week, Broadway baby Idina Menzel released her big album I Stand. In short, she sounds great, and there are some top-notch pop songs among the ten tracks.

Of more importance, however, is the fact that another big Broadway star is getting a serious chance at a pop career. I haven’t been around long enough to know the history of such attempts, except for Heather Headley, but it is in the best interest of everyone in the industry for Idina Menzel to sell many albums. Menzel herself has already gone on record as saying that she isn’t leaving Broadway, just tackling this project at this moment.

Let’s face it . . . Anything that helps a Broadway star succeed on a national playing field is great news for us. It used to be that Al Jolson or Ethel Waters would have hit records or the original Broadway cast recordings of My Fair Lady and Hello, Dolly! would be big hits.

And the more it is that artists can start on Broadway and find an entry to success in other media, the more spotlight Broadway will get. Anything that draws attention to Broadway or Broadway talent is a chance to make people interested or even intrigued in attending a show on Broadway or on tour. Plus, when the MBAs in California learn that major success can come from Broadway, they’ll come looking again and again.

Just imagine if Disney hadn’t needed Toni Braxton to attempt to fill in Heather Headley’s shoes as Aida but could use Idina Menzel as Amneris for their big tourist-drawing name. Or what if Idina Menzel, someone who can actually sing the songs of musicals, became a big enough name to star in a movie musical? I’d much rather we got Menzel in a movie musical instead of a non-singing Hollywood name or a non-acting pop star.

So . . . money speaks and the Industry listens. If you are in a position to do so, buy Idina Menzel’s CD soon. Opening week sales are big for the music industry just as they are for Hollywood. Let the suits know great talent comes from (and returns to) Broadway.

the Broadway Mouth
February 1, 2008


The Director said...

A friend of mine had a neat story last week. I guess it's pointless to relate it here, since it's his story, but I'll try anyway.

He's a waiter who's on (relatively rare) down time for gigs. He's been on Broadway, off-Broadway, and all kinds of other tours and shows all over the country. The other night at the restaurant, he was showing some guests to their tables, and this beautiful brunette was one of them. She thanked him and then said "You know... you look familiar. What's your name?" and he said "James."

She said, "Hi, James. My name is Idina."

Diane said...

This is a really positive, well-thought out review.

I love that people can see beyond the album itself, to the fact that Idina is sort of representing Broadway (whether she intends to or not) and her success can definitely lead to some really positive consequences!


Broadway Blog said...

What a great story, Brian. She seems like she'd be such a great person.