To say I struggled with this article would be a bit of an understatement, but perhaps after I write this I’ll simply “let it go.”
Last Wednesday I found myself blinded by the lights of Times Square to cover a red carpet with “Frozen” star Idina Menzel. The songstress made a name for herself under those lights, rising to stardom thanks to her roles in the Broadway productions of “Rent” and “Wicked.” She took home a Tony Award for the latter.
Menzel returned to Gotham to promote the movie “Beaches,” a remake of the 1988 classic, which aired last Saturday night on Lifetime. The network held a screening for the film at the AMC Empire 25 Theater on 42nd Street. The reboot also starred Nia Long, who reprised the role of Hillary while Menzel took on Bette Midler’s character C.C.
When Menzel stepped on to the red carpet inside the building, she first spoke with E! News about the film and her fiancé. Lifetime’s social media crew followed up by recording a “tune-in” message from the actress. My spot on the carpet was next to theirs, but Menzel’s publicists herded the remaining members of the media in to a half-circle, where none of us would get one-on-ones and instead we’d be asking the singer questions press conference-style.
This isn’t my first rodeo so at this point I’m not the slightest bit annoyed, even after said-publicists tells us that we can only ask questions about the movie.
But we’re in New York. Menzel was born in Queens. So what was it like for her to be back in the city?
“I’m a New York girl, so it’s nice,” she responded. “I got my apartment here and there’s no food in the refrigerator. So I’m hungry but I’m happy.”
I followed up by inquiring what the first thing that came to her mind was when she returned to Broadway.
“OK, questions about the movie right here!” shouted Menzel’s publicist, who then gently scooted the singer away from me and towards the other members of the media, most of whom were probably awaiting with baited breath to ask the same, tired questions that Menzel has already answered a million times.
Here’s the ironic portion of the ordeal: Menzel is a Tony Award-winning performer who rose to prominence in part due to “Rent” and “Wicked.” In the movie that her publicist required we ask questions about, she plays Midler’s role.
Yes, Bette Midler: a Tony Award-winning actress who began her own rise to prominence thanks to roles in “Fiddler on the Roof” and “Salvation.”
Maybe the publicist missed the connection? Maybe she didn’t care? Maybe she’s never going back, because the past is in the past?
Regardless, the cold shoulder never bothered me anyways.