Tony-winning actor and Wicked’s original Elphaba, Idina Menzel, opens up about her life in a new memoir, Voice Lessons: A Sisters Story. The twist is that she didn’t write it; her sister, Cara Mentzel did.
“I had been approached about writing my own book and I thought that would be the most boring book ever, that I hadn't had enough interesting life experience, and my sister was this amazing writer and she would write these amazing essays about us and send me funny stories,” Menzel told Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotbe on The Today Show. “So I said I’m not interested, but I think my sister could write something more interesting about our lives as sisters.”
Menzel originated the role of Maureen in Broadway’s Rent before starring in Disney’s Aida and originated the role of Elphaba in Wicked, for which she won her Tony Award. After bursting into the mainstream as the voice of Elsa in Disney’s animated Frozen, Menzel returned to Broadway in If/Then and has been touring the world with her solo concert for the past few years.
The two share their memories from childhood and beyond, looking into Menzel’s limelight successes as well as struggles and their sisterly relationship.
“What I think is great about the book is that we both learned so much from each other,” said Menzel. “Even though she's my younger sister, she got married before me and had kids before me, and so she was often the wiser one. So it’s this reciprocity of yes, I taught her a lot of stuff and I was the big sis and had the spotlight on me, but in the things that were most important in life I often went to her.”