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Why Idina Menzel appeared as guest judge on 'Dancing With the Stars'

Idina Menzel appeared as a guest judge on the most recent episode of 'Dancing With the Stars,' which had contestants perform dances set to Broadway tunes.

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    Idina Menzel performs at the 2014 Oscars.
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“Dancing With the Stars” welcomed a Broadway star for a Broadway-themed evening, as “Frozen” star Idina Menzel appeared on as a guest judge on the Nov. 7 episode.

Ms. Menzel judged on an evening in which celebrity contestant Marilu Henner and her dance partner Derek Hough were eliminated. The duo performed a samba and received a score of 36 out of 40. 

All of the dances Monday were set to Broadway tunes such as “Memory” from the musical “Cats.” Before Menzel gained fame for her role in the smash hit Disney animated movie “Frozen,” she had appeared in such Broadway productions as “Rent” and “Wicked.” And she starred in the musical comedy-drama TV series "Glee" from 2010 to 2013.

Menzel is far from the first Broadway star to be involved in a Disney film. Disney and Broadway have had a relationship for many years, with Broadway stars such as Menzel appearing in Disney films and Disney films being adapted for Broadway musicals. 

Past Broadway veterans who have appeared in recent Disney movies include Harvey Fierstein, who starred in the 1998 movie “Mulan”; Angela Lansbury, who starred in “Beauty and the Beast”; and Donna Murphy, who appeared in the film “Tangled.” 

Meanwhile, Disney movies including “Beauty,” “The Lion King,” and “Aladdin” have served as the source material for Broadway programs.

In the case of Menzel, starring in “Frozen” likely brought her new fans who would not have known her from her Broadway work but are now quite familiar with the character of Elsa and Menzel’s hit song “Let It Go.”

In other Monday night DWTS performance results: Celebrity Calvin Johnson Jr. and dancer Lindsay Arnold performed a waltz and received a score of 37 out of 40, while celebrity James Hinchcliffe and dancer Jenna Johnson performed a jazz routine and received a score of 36 out of 40 as well. 

Celebrity Terra Jole and dancer Sasha Farber performed the Charleston and received a score of 38 out of 40, while celebrity Jana Kramer and dancer Gleb Savchenko performed a waltz and received a score of 40 out of 40. Celebrity Laurie Hernandez and dancer Valentin Chmerkovskiy also recived a perfect score for performing the Argentine tango.

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