The Tony-Award winning star, Idina Menzel, who performed Let It Go, at the Oscars on Sunday had gotten much recognition due to the famous name debacle when John Travolta introduced her as “Adele Dazeem”. Twitter is still a flutter with comments, and now the fictional Adele Dazeem even has her own Twitter account.
Prior to the Oscar night snafu, Menzel was mostly known by theater enthusiasts. She was not a big name in pop culture, but more for her Broadway performances as the Elphaba in Wicked, and as Maureen Johnson in Rent. Although the major flub by Travolta created much criticism by fans and the media, it may have made Idina Menzel a household name.
Needless to say, John Travolta, who has a reputation of being a warm-hearted and genuine good guy, was beside himself after the incident. Travolta put out a public apology to Menzel saying how horribly he felt but knew that Menzel would be a true professional and tell him to just ‘Let it Go’. Menzel didn’t let it affect her at all that night. She belted out the song from the Oscar-winning animated feature Frozen with the show stopping performance that Idina is so well-known for.
Since the Oscars aired last Sunday, all late night show hosts have had a field day poking fun of Travolta’s unfortunate mix-up. Both Conan O’Brien and Jimmy Fallon opened their shows with Travolta inspired name changes. Conan became Kevin Ozeem, and Jimmy Fallon’s new alter ego is Jelan Fejallah. David Letterman comprised a top 10 list of mispronunciations of Idina Menzel’s name. The top three standouts were; Idrizzle Menzezzle, Idling Mazda, and the No. 1 pick – “Travolta Means Well”.
There is even a new widget called, The Adele Dazeem Name Generator. The widget will “Travoltify” a person’s name, Just type in the name John Smith, hit the “do it” button, and John Smith has now been “Travoltified” into the name Jan Smoith.
Playbill got on board with all the fun and created a fake write-up saying the part of Elizabeth in a new play called, If/Then will no longer be starring Idina Menzel but that her alter ego Adele Dazeem would be taking over the part.
Travolta inadvertently just made Idina’s PR team’s job a lot easier, and the timing could not be more perfect. Menzel’s new Broadway play, If/Then had its Broadway Preview on March 5 at the Richard Rodgers Theater. The musical was written by Tony and Pulitzer prize winners, Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey. Menzel plays a woman starting her life over in the Big Apple. The play officially opens on March 30.
All in all, the situation turned out to be a no harm no foul. Idina Menzel took it in stride and like a true theater professional, overlooked the flub because the show must go on in live theater. Although John Travolta may not live it down for a while he now has the distinguished honor of making Idina Menzel a household name….kind of.
By Christina Thompson
(aka Catriona Thompseen-Travoltified!)