By Damien Jaques Senior Contributing Editor Published Jan 08, 2012 at 1:11 PM

We could wonder if Idina Menzel appears only in shows with single-word titles. The Queens, N.Y., native burst into the public consciousness playing one of the leads in "Rent" on Broadway.

She became a bona fide star portraying Elphaba in "Wicked." Now millions know her for her recurring presence on "Glee." Kind of makes you wonder if the uber talented brunet has a limited vocabulary.

You can find out July 8, when Menzel sings with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival, which is only 65 miles south of Downtown Milwaukee. It has the makings of a magical evening.

Here is a fresh Chicago Tribune interview with the lovely Idina.

Damien Jaques Senior Contributing Editor

Damien has been around so long, he was at Summerfest the night George Carlin was arrested for speaking the seven dirty words you can't say on TV. He was also at the Uptown Theatre the night Bruce Springsteen's first Milwaukee concert was interrupted for three hours by a bomb scare. Damien was reviewing the concert for the Milwaukee Journal. He wrote for the Journal and Journal Sentinel for 37 years, the last 29 as theater critic.

During those years, Damien served two terms on the board of the American Theatre Critics Association, a term on the board of the association's foundation, and he studied the Latinization of American culture in a University of Southern California fellowship program. Damien also hosted his own arts radio program, "Milwaukee Presents with Damien Jaques," on WHAD for eight years.

Travel, books and, not surprisingly, theater top the list of Damien's interests. A news junkie, he is particularly plugged into politics and international affairs, but he also closely follows the Brewers, Packers and Marquette baskeball. Damien lives downtown, within easy walking distance of most of the theaters he attends.