Idina Menzel and Adam Pascal weren't a couple in Rent (he was the straight Roger and she the proud bisexual Maureen), but they're going to give romance a shot in Broadway's Aida. Menzel will take over the role of clothes-horse queen Amneris on Sept. 11 in the Elton John-Tim Rice piece, slipping into the character's headdress after Taylor Dayne departs Sept. 8. Adam Pascal remains with the show, playing royal hunk and Amneris' love interest, Radames.
A day after Dayne's last performance, on Sept. 9, the original Aida herself, Heather Headley, will exit the long-running musical. Maya Days will take her place. The cast changes will leave Pascal as the only one of the three original leads still with the production.
Menzel's and Days' tenure will be relatively short, however. Beginning in January 2002, Simone will step into the role of Aida, and Felicia Finley will become the new Amneris. Simone is currently playing the title role on the road.
Since Rent, Menzel has belted her way through parts in Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party and the Off-Broadway bound Summer of '42, as well as playing assorted gigs at Joe's Pub in lower Manhattan. She will perform with the Aida cast at this weekend's "Broadway on Broadway" concert in Times Square.
Aida opened at the Palace Theatre on March 23, 2000, becoming Disney's third Broadway musical and its first not based on an existing animated movie. Robert Falls directed.