Date of birth : 1971-05-30
Date of death : -
Birthplace : Queens, New York
Nationality : American
Category : Arts and Entertainment
Last modified : 2011-08-26
Idina Menzel is an American actress, singer and songwriter. She is widely known for originating the roles of Maureen in Rent and Elphaba in Wicked.
Menzel was born in Queens, New York. Her mother, Helene, is a therapist, and her father, Stuart Mentzel, worked as a pajama salesman. Her family is Jewish. Her family lived in Marlboro Township, New Jersey from when she was in kindergarten to third grade, but she was raised in Syosset, New York, with her younger sister Cara, and later changed her last name to Menzel to better reflect the pronunciation the Mentzel family had adopted in America. When Menzel was 15 years old, her parents divorced and she began working as a wedding and bar mitzvah singer, a job which she continued throughout her time at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts. She earned a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in Drama at NYU prior to being cast in Jonathan Larson's rock musical Rent. She was friends with actor Adam Pascal before they worked together in Rent.
Menzel recently joined the cast of Glee, the Fox juggernaut about a varied group of high school kids who come together to sing as the underdog of glee clubs. Menzel plays the coach of rival glee club Vocal Adrenaline, McKinley High Glee Club's main competition. Last year, Menzel concluded a national tour promoting her album, I Stand. A skillful songwriter, Idina writes and performs her own music. She released the Glen Ballard-produced album for her record label, Warner Bros. Records, and played to sold out houses around the United States. Menzel performed her show in New York as part of the Mastercard Soundstage series, which aired on PBS. PBS also aired the concert version of Chess: The Musical, recorded at the Royal Albert Hall where Idina shared the stage with Josh Groban.
1996 : Rent
2000 : The Wild Party
2003 : Wicked
2005 : See What I Wanna See
2006 : Wicked (London)
View the full website biography of Idina Menzel.