Idina Menzel Will Release CD & DVD of PBS Special
Mon, 06 Feb 2012 10:05:07
Idina Menzel has a diverse career on the stage, in film and television, and in music. The beloved Broadway star, best known for her work in the Broadway musical and film adaption of Rent, her Tony Award-winning performance as Elphaba, the green-faced Wicked Witch of the West in Wicked and her recurring role in the hit TV series Glee, has spent much of the past two years crisscrossing the country, headlining concerts with world-renowned symphony orchestras. This past November, on Menzel's 2011 tour itinerary, the star recorded her forthcoming PBS special Idina Live: Barefoot at the Symphony. On March 6, Concord Music Group will release the DVD and accompanying album.
The TV special, DVD, and the album, were captured in Toronto at Koerner Hall, a beautifully modernist, acoustically blessed space literally carved out of the city's historic Royal Conservatory of Music headquarters. Menzel performs with the 52-piece Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, one of Canada's premiere symphony orchestras, under the direction of legendary conductor Marvin Hamlisch (or as Menzel prefers to call him, the legendary Marvin Hamlisch) and her equally accomplished music director and pianist, Rob Mounsey, who has worked with everyone from Paul Simon and Steely Dan to Madonna, Usher and Rihanna.
Though Menzel's symphony concerts have attracted sellout crowds and earned consistent critical praise, she was hesitant about the idea at first. "I've toured a lot in my life with different bands and different styles of music, but I stayed away from orchestras and symphonies for a long time, because I like to have a real intimacy with the audience, and I was afraid these big orchestras would usurp my ability to do that. But then I discovered that there's a way to work with 80 musicians and make it feel like we've all known each other for years. I'm still able to explore my edgier side with songs like ‘Roxanne,' but do it with an orchestra, which is really thrilling."
With the PBS special and the album both completed, Menzel plans to go back on tour this summer. She also hopes to return soon to Broadway for "a brand new, original show that I'm not allowed to talk about, but really excites me."
Do you have a fave Broadway star? Is it Idina?