Within in the theater community, Idina Menzel has been known and celebrated for years. Beginning with her role as Maureen in Rent, and later for originating the role of Elphaba in the Broadway musical Wicked -- for which she won the Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical -- Menzel has demonstrated her powerful, stirring voice in countless beloved stage productions, as well as on TV shows (Glee) and in films (Enchanted).
But it wasn't until last year, with her turn as the voice of Elsa the Snow Queen in the 2013 Disney film Frozen, that the New York actress and singer achieved international stardom. Built on the strength of the ubiquitous empowering hit "Let It Go," which reached No. 5 on the Billboard Hot 100, Frozen not only became the highest-grossing animated film of all time, but made Menzel a household name. (Well, that and John Travolta's bizarre "Adele Dazeem" name flub at this year's Academy Awards.)
Now, she's back on Broadway with her current show, If/Then. Written by composer Tom Kitt and librettist Brian Yorkey, the musical centers around Menzel's character Elizabeth, a new divorcee who at age 38 returns to New York after 12 years in Phoenix to start over again. But in a twist, the story showcases not one but two versions of Menzel's Elizabeth ("Liz" and "Beth") in two possible timelines based on the choices she makes: "Beth" becomes a successful city planner but her love life is a disaster; "Liz" never manages to develop a rewarding career, but finds love, marries and has two kids.
In a conversation with Soundcheck host John Schaefer, Menzel talks about her dual role in If/Then, and performs selections from the production with accompaniment from composer Tom Kitt in the Soundcheck studio.
- "You Learn To Live Without"
- "Some Other Me"
This segment originally aired on July 24, 2014.