Watch Idina Menzel Talk (And Sing!) About Tour Essentials & The Last Time She Was Called 'Elsa'

The Broadway star brings her 50-city worldwide tour to North America starting Wednesday in Pennsylvania.

Idina Menzel admits she likes a good mini-bar when she’s on tour. “Don’t put me in a hotel that has one of those empty fridges for those people who bring their own food and cook,” she said with a laugh in her recent Facebook Live chat with Billboard, during a break in tour rehearsals in Los Angeles. “Put me in a hotel where the fridge has all these cool snacks. It doesn’t have to be gourmet -- just my Peanut M&Ms, some chocolate-covered almonds. I binge at night. I’m a classy chick.”

After opening in Japan, the Broadway star brings her 50-city worldwide tour to North America starting Wednesday in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and continuing with a hometown show Friday at Long Island’s Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale. Though always happy to return to her roots, the stop is sure to conjure up reminders of the past -- good and bad.

"I’m usually excited [to play in Long Island] and I think it’s going to be one of the best shows, and I get up there and I’m flooded with memories -- good, bad, bullies, some chick that was mean to me, family stuff. I get very emotional,” she says. “I remember that I was a little girl, little dreamer, that wanted to do something with her life, and I was able to do it.” 

And how. Menzel is the only Tony winner to have also scored a Billboard Hot 100 top 10 hit (“Letting Go” from Frozen). The singer/actress, who co-starred in Lifetime’s remake of Beaches earlier this year, earned her first Tony nomination in 1996 for Rent before winning best actress in a musical for her performance as Elphaba in Wicked in 2004. She received her third nomination in 2014 for If/Then.

Menzel released her fifth album, Idina, last fall and will draw heavily from the personal, intimate set in concert, including performing such songs as “Small World,” “I Do” and “Queen of Swords.” New for this tour will be background singers and “these two beautiful string players that also sing,” she tells Billboard. Plus, “I’m excited to reunite with my other musicians who have played with me for many years at this point,” she says.

But she is most excited about her offstage companion: Her 7-year old son, Walker (with ex-husband Taye Diggs), accompanies her on tour. “Every time my son comes with me, he’s at a different age, so I see these places through a different lens with him,” she says. “We hit every children’s museum and zoo in every major city. I take him everywhere with me, which is hard because on my day off, if he weren’t with me, I would probably sleep the whole day away and watch pay-per-view and rest my voice, but when he’s around…you forge on.”  

Staying at home in Los Angeles will be her new fiancé, Aaron Lohr. “He has a regular job, so he can’t just take a plane all over the place and come visit me and be my emotional support,” she laments. The pair moved in together recently and bought a new home. 

Unlike many artists who have stage fright before they go onstage, Menzel admits that she sometimes experiences the syndrome during a performance. “I do a number on myself onstage sometimes,” she says. “I get in my head, get very perfectionist, start judging every note that I don’t think was perfect…You can have those nights where the chatter won’t stop in your head, but I try to keep that at bay and call my therapist from the road and I have fun. Most of the time, the music is transcendent for me.”

And when it’s not, there’s always the hotel mini-bar.

The remaining North Amerian dates on Idina Menzel's world tour:

April 5 Bethlehem, PA, Sands Bethlehem Event Center
April 7 – Uniondale, N.Y., Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum
April 14 – Los Angeles, Calif., Greek Theatre
May 19 – Richmond, Va., Altria Theater
May 20 – Atlantic City, N.J., Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa / Event Ctr.
May 24 – Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Broward Ctr. Au-Rene Theater
May 25 – Clearwater, Fla., Ruth Eckerd Hall
May 26 – Saint Augustine, Fla., St. Augustine Amphitheatre
May 27 – Sarasota, Fla., Van Wezel Perf. Arts Hall       
July 7 – Mashantucket, Conn., Grand Theater
July 8 – Boston, Mass., Blue Hills Bank Pavilion
July 9 – Oxon Hill, Md., MGM National Harbor
July 11 – Pittsburgh, Pa., Heinz Hall For The Performing Arts
July 12 – Cleveland, Ohio, Jacobs Pavilion At Nautica
July 14 – Toronto, Ontario, Sony Centre For The Performing Arts
July 15 – Canandaigua, N.Y., Constellation Brands - Marvin Sands Pa.C (CMass.C)
July 16 – Camden, N.J., BB&T Pavilion
July 18 – Baltimore, Md., Modell Performing Arts Center At The Lyric
July 19 – Raleigh, N.C., Red Hat Amphitheater
July 21 – Charlotte, N.C., Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre
July 22 – Atlanta, Ga., Fox Theatre
July 25 – New Orleans, La., Saenger Theatre
July 26 – Sugar Land, Texas, Smart Financial Centre At Sugar Land
July 28 – San Antonio, Texas, The Tobin Center For The Performing Arts
July 29 – Austin, Texas, Bass Concert Hall
July 30 – Grand Prairie, Texas, Verizon Theatre At Grand Prairie
Aug. 1 – Nashville, Tenn., Ryman Auditorium
Aug. 2 – Birmingham, Ala., Concert Hall At The BJCC
Aug. 4 – Indianapolis, Ind., Murat Theatre
Aug. 5 – Kettering, Ohio, Fraze Pavilion For The Perf. Arts
Aug. 6 – Louisville, Ky., The Louisville Palace Theatre
Aug. 11 – Rochester, Mich., Meadow Brook Amphitheatre
Aug. 12 – Chicago, Ill., Chicago Theatre
Aug. 13 – Milwaukee, Wis., Riverside Theatre
Aug. 15 – St. Louis, Mo., Fabulous Fox Theatre
Aug. 16 – Kansas City, Mo., Starlight Theatre
Aug. 18 – Englewood, Colo., Fiddler's Green Amphitheatre
Aug. 19 – Layton, Utah, Kenley Amphitheatre
Aug. 22 – Redmond, Wash., Marymoor Park
Aug. 23 – Portland, Ore., Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall       
Aug. 25 – Reno, Nev., Grand Sierra Resort Theatre
Aug. 26 – Berkeley, Calif., Greek Theatre At UC Berkeley
Aug. 27 – Paso Robles, Calif., Vina Robles Amphitheatre
Sept. 1 – Temecula, Calif., Pechanga Resort & Casino
Sept. 2 – Las Vegas, Nev., Pearl Concert Theater
Sept. 3 – Phoenix, Ariz., Comerica Theatre

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