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Idina Menzel sings the praises of her family

Pictured: Idina Menzel . publicity photo from

Pictured: Idina Menzel . publicity photo from . ( Photo by Stewart Shining Credit: Stewart Shining/Stewart Shining

Idina Menzel tries to keep things in perspective.

Sure, the Tony winner is about to make her debut with the New York Philharmonic. She has appeared on the hit show "Glee." And, along with new Broadway projects and a new arts foundation to encourage creativity in kids called A Broader Way, Menzel is working on a pilot about a wedding singer that's loosely based on her experiences as that kind of performer growing up in Syosset.

But her main focus? That's easy - husband, Taye Diggs, and their 17-month-old son, Walker.

"I want to be a great mother and wife - everything else is candy," Menzel says, calling from a Los Angeles recording studio where she's working on new music. "That said, now that I'm a mother, I'm much less neurotic. There's much less negative noise in my head. I'm much more productive."


Will this be the first time you headline Lincoln Center?


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Yes. I'm completely honored and humbled to do so. ... I'm trying to not let the surrealism of it get to me so that I lose perspective and get too nervous.


Had you worked with Marvin Hamlisch before?


The first time was when we were at Wolf Trap near Washington, D.C. Two days later, we were doing "What I Did for Love" at the White House in front of President Obama and his family, so we used it as a way to rehearse that song. (Laughs) It was a terrifying experience. ... They were like a foot away from me. If I didn't spit on him, I'd be surprised. I was trying not to.


You acknowledge your Long Island roots during the show.


Yes, during "The Way We Were." It's a way of paying tribute to songs that have followed me around through the years. ... I always aspired to be a singer and a performer. Back then, singing in a synagogue or some catering hall at 16 was just as exciting. I wanted more. ... Familiarizing myself with a huge repertoire of music really helped me later on in life. It also taught me that I could stand up in any place and sing.

WHO Idina Menzel sings classic pop and musical theater numbers with the New York Philharmonic; Marvin Hamlisch conducts.

WHEN | WHERE 8 p.m. Saturday, Avery Fisher Hall, 10 Lincoln Center Plaza, Manhattan

INFO $35-$175; 212-875-5656,

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