Born on May 30, 1971 in New York City, Idina Menzel is one of the most recognizable Broadway actresses of her generation, having originated roles in Rent and Wicked. In 2021, she appeared as part of the Rent 25th anniversary gala held by New York Theatre Workshop.
Growing up in New York, Menzel was introduced to Broadway from an early age. As a teenager, she would sing at events, continuing this while studying at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Graduating with a bachelor of fine arts degree in drama, Menzel then began auditioning for productions — Rent was her professional debut. After being involved in workshop productions for Rent at New York Theatre Workshop, Menzel eventually made her Broadway debut with the show in 1996, originating the role of Maureen at the Nederlander Theatre. For her performance, she was nominated for Best Featured Actress in a Musical at the 1996 Tony Awards and continued in the role for over a year. Menzel was then cast as Kate in The Wild Party and later took over the role of Amneris in Aida.
2003 was a life-changing year for Menzel, as she originated the role of Elphaba in Wicked at the Gershwin Theatre. Starring alongside Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda, she eventually won her first Tony Award, but missed out on her final scheduled performance after cracking a rib. Nonetheless, audiences can hear Menzel in the original Wicked Broadway cast recording.
When Wicked transferred to London’s Apollo Victoria Theatre in 2006, Menzel went with the show. Reprising her performance as Elphaba for three months, her Wicked return also marked her West End debut, subsequently followed by an appearance in a Chess concert at the Royal Albert Hall.
In 2014, Menzel returned to Broadway, starring alongside Rent cast member Anthony Rapp in If/Then at the Richard Rodgers Theatre. She played Elizabeth for the musical’s entire Broadway run, later reprising the role on a national tour. More recently, she starred in Skintight at the Laura Pels Theatre in 2018.
Aside from Broadway, Menzel is perhaps best known for providing the voice of Elsa in Disney’s Frozen and Frozen II. She has also played Nancy in the movie musical Enchanted and the 2022 sequel Disenchanted; Vivian, Cinderella's stepmother, in the 2021 movie musical adaptation of Cinderella; and Dinah Ratner in Uncut Gems. She can also be seen in Glee playing Shelby Corcoran.