In Long Island, Menzel, the daughter of a pajama salesman, spent her weekends singing at weddings and bar mitzvahs, and otherwise kept her big voice a secret. “No one knew how good I was at school because I didn’t want kids to know,” admits Menzel today. “I didn’t want to be the one to show off.”
Meanwhile in Michigan, Bell signed up for every community play and helped support her single mother by modeling underwear and karaoke machines for Kmart catalogs. Classmates would brandish shots of her in a training bra. Bell didn’t care. That money would get her to Manhattan.
Both Menzel and