Idina Menzel

b. May 30, 1971

by JWA Staff
Our work to expand the Encyclopedia is ongoing. We are providing this brief biography for Idina Menzel until we are able to commission a full entry.

Idina Menzel in her Barefoot at the Symphony concert tour, which ran from 2010 to 2013.

Photograph courtesy of Robin Wong and Idina Menzel.

A longtime star of the Broadway stage, Idina Menzel became the first person ever to claim both a Billboard Top 10 slot (for Holiday Wishes in 2014) and a Tony Award (for Wicked in 2003). A powerful soprano, Menzel began performing as a bar mitzvah singer at age fifteen, a job she continued while studying at New York University. She debuted on Broadway as Maureen Johnson in 1995’s Rent, a role she reprised on screen in 2005. She went on to perform in 2001’s Aida and the pre-Broadway run of the Vagina Monologues, and then stunned audiences as the lead in Wicked in New York in 2003 and London in 2006. From 2010 to 2013 she played a recurring role as Shelby Corcoran on Glee. From 2013 to 2016 she starred in If/Then, a Broadway musical, for which she was nominated for a Tony Award. In 2014 she won an Oscar and two Grammys for her work in Disney’s Frozen. Later that year Billboard awarded her “Breakthrough Artist.” Menzel continued pursuing more prominent roles in film and television after Frozen’s success, including her role in Uncut Gems, which was chosen by the National Board of Review as one of the top ten films of 2019.  In 2018, her acclaimed performance in Skintight marked her first major New York Theater non-musical role. As of 2023 she has released seven studio albums, despite her initial struggle as a solo artist. A longtime supporter of LGBT rights and AIDS advocacy, in 2010 she also co-founded the A BroaderWay Foundation with then-husband Taye Diggs to support young people in the arts with scholarships and drama camps for underprivileged children. In 2022 Disney+ released a documentary about Menzel, titled Which Way to the Stage? In 2024 she will star in the musical Redwood at La Jolla Playhouse, which she and Tina Mandau have been developing for 20 years.  

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How to cite this page

Jewish Women's Archive. "Idina Menzel." (Viewed on April 13, 2024) <http://jwa.org/encyclopedia/article/menzel-idina>.