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Interview: Idina Menzel Reflects on Her Career In New Documentary WHICH WAY TO THE STAGE?

Interview: Idina Menzel Reflects on Her Career In New Documentary WHICH WAY TO THE STAGE?

Idina Menzel: Which Way to the Stage? premieres December 9 on Disney+.

From her iconic roles on Broadway in "Rent" and "Wicked" to voicing the legendary character of Elsa in Disney's "Frozen," Idina Menzel has done it all. However, her new documentary follows her as she's finally fulfilling a lifelong dream: headlining a concert at Madison Square Garden in her hometown of New York City.

"Idina Menzel: Which Way to the Stage?" follows Menzel on a national tour over the course of 16 shows as she juggles the challenges of being a working mom with a grueling travel schedule, all while preparing finally to realize her dream.

Directed by Anne McCabe, the documentary features footage of Menzel onstage in Wicked and Rent, alongside interviews with her family, friends, co-stars, and creative collaborators. The film also tells the story of her personal experience with in vitro fertilization.

BroadwayWorld caught up with Menzel at the premiere of the documentary in New York City. Keep reading to see which Broadway role she was most excited to revisit in the film, what she learned about herself through the film, and more.

Plus, check out a new clip from the documentary, in which Menzel looks back on creating the role of Maureen in Rent, cut in with footage of her singing "Take Me Or Leave Me" at her concert.


How are you feeling now that everyone's about to see the documentary?

Oh, a little nervous. It's one thing to watch a movie that you're in as an actor. It's another thing to watch it when it's just you bare bones there. But I have my whole family and friends and all the musicians are here and so it's just cool.

In the documentary, we're gonna take a look back at some of your iconic Broadway roles. Which one were you most excited to sort of take a look back on and re-examine?

They all are sort of with me all the time. I feel like they're sort of just chicken or the egg, they've defined me, I've defined them. It's fun to look at the Rent stuff just because it's the furthest away and I just see myself being so young and I would say usually when you're young you say you don't know what's ahead of you. But back then we were really aware of how important it was to take in the moment and that we were on the cusp of something and that we had a responsibility to Jonathan Larson to really make sure that we kept a good head on our shoulders and we were grounded and that we just made sure we communicated his message. So I think that that precedent was set back then and I hope that I've kept it and that it remains till this day.

Looking back, what did you learn about yourself while you make this documentary?

Good question. I learned that I can multi-task pretty well. That I know that I may not feel like I put on a perfect show, but as long as I stay true to myself and authentic, that audiences will still feel something from me. So if I'm with my son or I'm taking a flight back in the middle of the night so I can get back to the show or I'm feeling under the weather, that as long as I just kind of stand up there and I'm authentic, that that's the best show I give, not because I'm trying to hit a note and hold a long note for days.


Watch a clip of Menzel looking back on her time in Rent in the documentary here:

Photo by Eric Maldin/Walkman Productions Inc.

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