Adele Dazeem (Idina Menzel) saluted at ‘The Book of Mormon’
Adele Dazeem -- the John Travolta-anointed alter ego of Broadway star Idina Menzel -- received a special tribute at a recent performance of “The Book of Mormon” at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood.
Actor Cody Jamison Strand, who plays Mormon missionary Elder Cunningham, used the name “Adele Dazeem” in place of a botched version of “Nabulungi” that is uttered throughout the musical, according to a spokesman for the Pantages.
In the show, the gaffe-prone Cunningham continually mispronounces the name of the character Nabulungi, the daughter of a Ugandan village chief. His mangled variations on her name usually included “Noxema,” “Neosporin” and “Jon Bonjovi,” but on Tuesday the actor tossed in “Adele Dazeem,” the Pantages spokesman said.
“The Book of Mormon” is running here through May 11. The production is a national touring version of the popular Broadway musical from “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, and Robert Lopez.
At the Academy Awards ceremony Sunday, Travolta mistakenly introduced Menzel as Adele Dazeem before the actress performed the song “Let It Go” from the Disney animated movie “Frozen.”
Travolta’s gaffe has since become an online sensation and has been lampooned by comedians including Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Fallon and David Letterman.
Lopez and his wife, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, won Oscars for writing “Let It Go.” In an email, Lopez said that he wasn’t behind the Adele Dazeem reference in “The Book of Mormon.”
The songwriter said that Josh Gad, who originated the role of Elder Cunningham, “was the one who originally threw in the wacky wrong names when we were workshopping it, and it’s sort of become part of the show for those names to be a bit different every time.”
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