Idina Menzel was not especially well-known outside of Broadway circles, where her portrayal of the green-skinned witch Elphaba in the phenomenally successful musical Wicked won her a Tony Award and solidified her career. But after Sunday night’s Oscar ceremonies, the name “Idina Menzel” was getting more buzz that any of the winners.
Actually, it may not have ben Idina Menzel getting the buzz under her own name. But as anyone who has logged on to the internet since Sunday night knows, John Travolta introduced Menzel’s rendition of the Oscar-nominated song “Let it Go,” from Frozen, and now famously flubbed her name.
Travolta introduced Idina Menzel as “Adele Dazeem.”
How Travolta addled the name “Idina Menzel” into “Adele Dazeem” remains a bit of a mystery. Perhaps his malapropism proves that, as the tabloids like to say, “stars — they’re just like us!” In any case, while Idina Menzel may have been somewhat embarrassed at first, she may well be thanking Travolta today.
In fact, really suspicious minds might wonder if some sneaky publicist for the 42-year-old Queens, New York, native slipped Travolta a little something under the table, just to persuade the Pulp Fiction star to make his now-immortal “Adele Dazeem” goof. Because Idina Menzel, overnight, became more famous than she’s ever been — and not just because the tune she crooned took home the Oscar.
Menzel returns to Broadway this week in the new musical If/Then, and the marketing team behind the show has already seized on the Travolta oscar gaffe with an ad campaign featuring the tag line, “You Know Her Name.”
Of course, unless you’re a hardcore Broadway nerd or a big fan of Glee — and chances are, if you’re one, you’re both —you probably did not know Idina Menzel’s name. Until now.
Idina Menzel, who portrayed Lea Michele’s mom on Glee, proved that she is a consummate professional on Sunday. She delivering a seamless rendition of “Let It Go,” even though she was well aware that an audience of 43 million in the United States alone just heard a famous movie star inexplicably identify her as the non-existent Adele Dazeem
“Idina has nerves of steel and pipes of gold,” said the song’s Oscar-winning co-writer Robert Lopez. “And she’s getting more attention because of the Travolta thing.”