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PHOTO FLASH: Idina Menzel Discusses Upcoming National Tour, Glee, Wicked Film, New CD

Idina Menzel
(© Tristan Fuge)
Tony Award winner Idina Menzel sat down with the press at Joe's Pub on October 13 to discuss her upcoming national tour and other aspects of her life and career.

Menzel will be performing with symphony orchestras around the country, October 28-February 3, beginning with a three-night stint at the Kennedy Center. Those concerts will be conducted by Marvin Hamlisch, and Menzel will be singing some of the composer's songs, including "What I Did For Love," which she recently performed for President Obama for a special taped performance at the White House to air beginning on October 20 on PBS. "Marvin and I really hit it off," she says of their initial meeting earlier this year.

Menzel said that performing at the Kennedy Center will be "a piece of cake" compared to her previous appearance there, when she helped pay tribute to Barbra Streisand at the Kennedy Center Honors. She also revealed that Streisand sent her a thank you note, which now sits next to her Tony Award in the New York City apartment that she and husband Taye Diggs live in part of the year, along with their now 13-month-old son.

Streisand, not surprisingly, is on the singer's wish list of people to duet with, as are Bono, Michael Bublé, and Christina Aguilera. However, none of those people are slated to be on Menzel's new CD, which she plans to begin recording later this month, and which will include a mix of standards and original material.

The actress also stated that she had been informed by producers of the still-to-be-filmed Wicked movie that she would not be playing Elphaba because of her age. "But I have an idea for them," she says. "Why don't we do it like Avatar and there could be this beautiful green creature with the essence of me and my voice."

As for other work in Hollywood, Menzel offered no specifics on any upcoming reappearance on Glee, though she did state that "it would be perfectly fine" if she worked on an episode with former Wicked co-star (and former Glee guest star) Kristin Chenoweth.

She also said she hopes to be part of the sequel to the hit film Enchanted, in which she starred opposite Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey, and would like to do more film and television work. One thing she has filmed recently is an upcoming episode of PBS' Sesame Street alongside her husband.

Menzel also told reporters that she is in the process of creating a new foundation called "A Broader Way" that would fund a summer camp in the Berkshires for underprivileged girls. Menzel's plan is for the campers to put on a show that she would later produce for one night on Broadway.

As for her own return to musical theater, Menzel added that she has some projects in the early development stage, and that she is hoping to originate a role. "I just don't see myself as a revival girl," she notes.

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