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Idina Menzel at Meadow Brook, 5 Things To Know
To many, especially a generation of ‚ÄúFrozen‚ÄĚ-loving youngsters, Idina Menzel is Queen Elsa and, more importantly, the voice of the film‚Äôs Grammy Award-winning hit ‚ÄúLet It Go.‚ÄĚ
But there‚Äôs more to her story than that.
A Tony Award-winning Broadway veteran, Menzel has originated key parts in ‚ÄúRent,‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúWicked‚ÄĚ and ‚ÄúIf/Then,‚ÄĚ among others. She also has an extensive resume of film and TV appearances, including a 12-episode run on ‚ÄúGlee.‚ÄĚ She‚Äôs released six albums, including the 2016 set ‚Äúidina.‚ÄĚ for which she co-wrote nine of 12 tracks.
This summer brings Menzel on the road for her second world tour, which is hitting seven countries and focuses on the ‚Äúidina.‚ÄĚ album...
‚ÄĘ Menzel, 46, says by phone that with her second world tour ‚Äúthere‚Äôs an ease about it, I guess. I‚Äôm with most of the same musicians I‚Äôve had for years, so it‚Äôs like a big family. I‚Äôve brought in three new women; They all sing and one‚Äôs a violinist and another plays a million instruments. So that‚Äôs been really great to have some girl power on the tour now. It‚Äôs a nine-piece band as opposed to the last time when we picked up an orchestra in each city; It‚Äôs nice but this way we‚Äôre our own little insular unit, which I like.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĘ Another difference on this tour -- her son Walker from her marriage to ‚ÄúRent‚ÄĚ co=-star Taye Diggs. ‚ÄúMy son is a different age this time (eight years old) which is making it different,‚ÄĚ she says. ‚ÄúHe‚Äôs appreciating it on a different level, which is good for me. He‚Äôs more independent, so it‚Äôs a little bit easier this time around although I still don‚Äôt get quite as much sleep as I need because he‚Äôs up and rarin‚Äô to go at seven in the morning.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĘ Menzel is also happy to be on the road singing more original material rather than just songs from the shows she‚Äôs been in. However, she adds, ‚ÄúI still find a way to connect all the music, whether it be from the shows I‚Äôve been in or some cool covers I‚Äôve always wanted to do or music from the album. That‚Äôs how I always look at putting a show together -- What do the songs mean? What do they mean in my life? How did they change me in some way? Even if there‚Äôs a cover there‚Äôs a reason I‚Äôm singing it, so there‚Äôs a through-line to everything.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĘ Speaking of covers, Menzel has raised some eyebrows by included Led Zeppelin‚Äôs ‚ÄúBlack Dog‚ÄĚ out of the ‚Äúidina.‚ÄĚ track ‚ÄúCake.‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúThat song always reminded me having a little Zeppelin in it,‚ÄĚ she says, ‚Äúso I thought, ‚ÄėWouldn‚Äôt it be cool to maybe segue into a (Zeppelin) song I love. The funny thing is it‚Äôs hard to find Zeppelin tunes, lyrically, that fit ‚Äėcause they were so high all the time and always talking about meadows and weird, hippie kind of lyrics. ‚ÄėCake‚Äô is a sexy kind of song, so ‚ÄėBlack Dog‚Äô seemed to fit the best. The band was like, ‚ÄėWho cares? We‚Äôll put in a Zeppelin song that fits the groove,‚Äô but to me the lyric has to make sense, too.‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĘ Menzel‚Äôs next project will actually be promoting ‚ÄúVoice Lessons,‚ÄĚ a memoir by her younger sister about growing up with a singing star. Menzel wrote the foreword and will be making appearances around the book‚Äôs fall publication. ‚ÄúShe wrote this beautiful, poignant book about growing up in her older sister‚Äôs shadow,‚ÄĚ says Menzel, who‚Äôs also engaged to actor Aaron Lohr. ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs not salacious, not that kind of book. She just follows our lives, the trajectory of my career and the different milestones we both had, You hear things about my experiences in different shows I was in and about when I was little, cultivating my voice and how I made my sister eat dirt and taught her about boys. I‚Äôm really excited for it to come out.‚ÄĚ
If You Go:
‚ÄĘ Idina Menzel
‚ÄĘ 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 11.
‚ÄĘ Meadow Brook Amphitheatre on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills.
‚ÄĘ Tickets are $40-$130 pavilion, $30 lawn.
‚ÄĘ Call 248-377-0100 or visit palacenet.com.
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