I’m so excited about Idina Menzel’s new album, I Stand, which is out today. I bring a pal to her showcase at NYC’s Canal Room, and Idina blows us away with her pop music sensibility.
As chicken fajitas and other appetizers sail by, the Tony-winning wife of Taye Diggs writhes onstage to her hand-picked selection of adult contemporary picks including Brave, Gorgeous, Where Do I Begin? and the title cut I Stand.
“I tried to think of ideas to come to the session with, and I kept thinking ‘I Stand,’” she says. “I specifically remember walking through the airport and being like, ‘What are you standing for? You don’t stand for anything. You’re not changing the world like Angelina Jolie or Bono.’ I was like, ‘You know what, I thought what do I stand for,’ and ‘the power to change’ sounds like a silly statement, but I always embarrass my dad — sorry dad — and I’m going to tell you where it came from.”
This is where it gets good!
“My sister and my father were fighting about something, and she was seeing a shrink. When he came to visit her and her kids, she brought him to therapy. He had never been to therapy before. She had told the therapist that he was emotionally unavailable growing up. He was affectionate, but you’d never see him cry or anything like that. So he goes in with my sister, he’s trying to be a good dad and talk about stuff and deal with stuff they need to deal with, and he goes [theatrics] ‘I’m just trying to be a good father.’ He wouldn’t stop crying. The therapist was like, ‘I don’t know why you brought your dad here. He obviously doesn’t have emotional unavailabity issues. That’s what I was thinking about with the power to change. When you see people unraveling and changing, I have such little faith in myself that I can actually change something about myself that I hate. That became my driving accomplishment, and it gave me some faith in the world. I stand for figuring it out.”
Afterwards, I get this pic with Idina. Her super-amazing publicist, Liz Rosenberg — who represents Madonna — fluffed my hair just before taking it. Wow! Touched by greatness.