Idina Menzel Passes on Evita Revival; Quast Likely for Peron

News   Idina Menzel Passes on Evita Revival; Quast Likely for Peron Despite reports to the contrary, Tony Award-winning actress Idina Menzel will not be in the running for the title role in the upcoming London revival of Evita.

In an interview with Playbill.com, Menzel said that she decided not to audition for the musical, which is set to open in May 2006 at the Adelphi Theatre under the direction of Michael Grandage. The celebrated performer told Playbill.com, "I just wasn't ready to commit to living in London for six months at this point, away from my husband [actor, Taye Diggs]. . . . I let it go, and I think they're moving on." Variety recently reported that Olivier Award winner Philip Quast will likely play Peron in the musical, which features a score by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice. It's an especially busy time for Menzel, who won a Tony Award for her performance as the misunderstood, green-faced Elphaba of Stephen Schwartz's Wicked. The actress recently re-created her role as Maureen for the film version of Rent, which hits movie theatres across the country Nov. 23. She is also currently starring Off-Broadway in Michael John LaChiusa's See What I Wanna See. She recently recorded the cast album for that musical and will soon head into the studio to begin work on her new solo album.

Evita, as previously announced, will be choreographed by Rob Ashford with designs by Christopher Oram. The musical made a London star out of original title player Elaine Paige and a Broadway star out of Patti LuPone. Madonna headed the cast of the film.

"Diva Talk" will feature a full interview with Menzel Nov. 25.