From Barbra to Bernadette: Top Ten Signature Songs from Broadway

By Ben Rimalower
17 May 2014

Idina Menzel
Photo by Joan Marcus

9. "Defying Gravity" (Idina Menzel)

Wicked, like its pop-opera predecessors, is clearly intended to be star-proof and thrive on Broadway on the draw of its intrinsic merits. Certainly, that has worked out nicely for the producers, but Idina Menzel was the first Elphaba, the Tony Award-winning Elphaba and of course, the Elphaba on the cast album. Fans will debate minor ways in which replacements have bested her on this note or that phrase, but at the end of the day, don't they all sound a little like they're doing an impression of Idina Menzel?