Idina Menzel endeared herself to legions of Broadway theatergoers nearly two decades ago as Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, in the hit musical ‘Wicked,’ for which she starred. won a Tony Award.
Still, the actor and singer hadn’t seen the show from the public in years until she accompanied her 12-year-old son, Walker, and his basketball team to a performance last month. Watching actress Talia Suskauer play Elphaba in the current staging, she said, was a “very moving” experience.
“I had a real proud moment and really reflected on my life and what’s happened since, how it’s changed my life,” Menzel told HuffPost at the launch of her clothing line. for women, Encore by Idina, last week. The show “run for five years, and it was a lesson in patience and trust in myself and the people around me. So I felt like I could finally own something that I was a part of, that changes the people’s lives when they see it.
Menzel is best known to younger fans as the voice of Queen Elsa in Disney’s “Frozen,” in which she delivered a powerful message of self-acceptance through the chilling ballad “Let It Go.” Now, she hopes women of all ages will also feel empowered by Encore, available through QVC. The “sleep to street” collection includes a range of jumpsuits, cardigans and jeans, among other items.
Like most theater artists, Menzel was unable to perform for much of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the unexpected downtime, she began sketching the concept for what is now known as the Swing Romper on a towel.
“I said, ‘I want to do this for me,’ and then my family and other people around me said, ‘You should develop this idea,'” she said. “I wanted to take the anxiety out of the dressing process. I’m someone who’s lucky to have people helping me from time to time, but if I’m left to my own devices I’m really overflowed in my closet.
“I wanted to find something that I could wear to bed if I had to, wake up in the morning, take my kids to school, and look decent next to the perfect mom who’s always together at 7 a.m. “, she added. “And later I wanted to be able to layer something that works with it so I could meet my husband [Aaron Lohr] for drinks. It came out of necessity for myself.
Regarding his brand’s theatrical title, Menzel said, “In my life, when people ask for an encore, it’s a big achievement. It means I moved the audience, and they saw what I was doing and liked it. Even if you’re not an artist, we’re all on the crazy stage of life, balancing a million roles. And everyone deserves to feel seen and appreciated.
Encore is just the beginning of what awaits Menzel in 2022. In September, she will make her first foray into children’s publishing with “Loud Mouse,” a picture book she co-wrote with her sister. , Cara Mentzel. And this Thanksgiving, she’s set to reprise the role of Nancy Tremaine in Disney’s “Disenchanted,” the highly anticipated sequel to 2007’s “Enchanted,” starring Amy Adams and Patrick Dempsey.
Although some fans were disappointed that Menzel didn’t get a musical number in the original film, that changed this time around.
“I have an amazing song that composers Alan Menken and Stephen Schwartz wrote for me called ‘Love Power,’ and it’s a pretty awesome moment,” she said. “It’s a very traditional musical and it has an old-fashioned quality to it.”
Getting back into character meant having to wear costumes that are pretty much the “antithesis” of Encore.
“Expect to see me in a corset,” she joked.