Idina Menzel Returns to the Stage – Next Year — in Roundabout Underground Premiere Skintight
By: Ellis Nassour
It will be slightly over a year, but three-time Tony-nominee and 2004 Tony winner (Wicked) Idina Menzel returns to the stage in Roundabout Theatre Company’s world-premiere of Skintight by Joshua Harmon (Bad Jews, Significant Other). It’s her first time back since her 2014 nomination for Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey’s musical If/Then. RTC’s artistic director Todd Haimes announced Skintight will be a presentation of Roundabout Underground. Previews begin May 31, 2018, with a June 21 opening, at the Laura Pels Theatre in the Harold and Miriam Steinberg Center for Theatre for a limited engagement through August 26, 2018. Menzel is also a four-time Drama Desk nominee.
Skintight, which will be directed by three-time Obie winner Daniel Aukin (Bad Jews), was developed with support from the Laurents/Hatcher Foundation. It’s a recipient of a Theatre Communications Group Edgerton Foundation New Play Award, which has supported 297 world premiere productions — with 24 making it to Broadway. Menzel has been a part of the development process with Harmon since the first Skintight reading in 2015.
Roundabout Underground’s mission is to foster emerging writers. Harmon made his professional debut with 2012’s Bad Jews, the first Underground play to transfer to the RTC’s Off Broadway Laura Pels. His Significant Other premiered at the Pels, then transferred this season to Broadway. Nine plays and a musical have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, with Next to Normal (2010),Water by the Spoonful (2012), The Flick (2014), and Hamilton (2016) winning.
Harmon describes Skintight as “a scorching examination of beauty, youth and sex that assays the nature of love, the power of attraction, and the ways in which a superficial culture persists in teaching its children that all that matters is what’s on the inside”
It focuses on Jodi Isaac (Menzel), who’s reeling from her ex-husband’s engagement to a much younger woman. For solace, she turns to her famous fashion-designer dad for support. Things unreel even more when she finds him with a 20ish male, who’s an adult film star but not necessarily gay. Enter Isaac’s 20-year-old son who spills the beans.
Theater and now film icon Menzel soared to stardom in her Broadway debut as no-nonsense Maureen in Jonathan Larson’s Rent; and to global stardom as the voice of Elsa in Disney’s global animated smash Frozen – singing its infectious Oscar-winning and Platinum-selling song “Let It Go.” She was most recently seen in Lifetime’s remake of Beaches. Other projects include TV’s Glee and Disney’s Enchanted. In addition to cast albums, Menzel has the solo albums I Stand, Here and Still I Can’t Be Still and Holiday Wishes, which hit into the top 10 on Billboard’sTop 200 Album Chart.
In 2010, she co-founded the A BroaderWay Foundation (www.abroaderway.org), dedicated “to offering girls from underserved communities an outlet for self-expression and creativity through arts-centered programs which emphasize building self-esteem, developing leadership qualities and striving for personal and social achievement.” In 2014, Menzel was recognized as one of Variety’s Power of Women honorees.
Roundabout’s support of emerging playwrights and directors is made possible by Katheryn Patterson and Tom Kempner.
RTC’s new work, is made possible by Katheryn Patterson and Tom Kempner.
Tickets for Skintight will first be made available to RTC subscribers and donors. For more information and further details on casting and regular ticket sales, visit roundabouttheatre.org.