Fans fell for Idina Menzel for her roles in Rent and Wicked, but the chanteuse's star has continued to grow. This weekend the vocal powerhouse will be seen in Idina Menzel Live: Barefoot at the Symphony, which was filmed at Toronto's historic Royal Conservatory of Music and airing on PBS this Saturday. That's followed by an album, DVD, and digital download available Tuesday, March 6. She spoke to The Advocate about her work, including why she thinks so many people love what has become her signature song, "Defying Gravity."
At some point in our lives, I think all of us feel that we're weird or different. I know I can be very self-conscious about who I am and how I'm perceived. And it's at that moment in the show that [Elphaba] decides, "I'm going to do this differently now. I'm gonna stop caring about what people think and just embrace who I am. Fuck what anybody else thinks." She's our hero because she stands up and does it. There's also the other aspect that as a woman, it's sometimes hard to be really fierce and strong. You want to be kick-ass, and yet as women we're sometimes afraid we'll be perceived as a bitch. The song is that character's way of harnessing her incredible power and using it to change the world and influence people while not fearing her strength. I'm so thankful that I had that show because I could live in her world and be as powerful as I wanted.