HOME BASE New York City
PERIOD PIECE Menzel, who ends her Tony award-winning run in the Broadway musical Wicked this month, headed to South Africa for the filming of Ask the Dust with Colin Farrell ("he gets a bad rap but, really, he's a perfect gentleman") and Salma Hayek. "The story takes place in 1930's Los Angeles. Robert Towne, the director, chose to shoot here because the terrain is so similar," Menzel says. "It's just like Malibu—ocean on one side, mountains on the other."
TRADING SPACES "I love staying at different hotels, experiencing the new and unfamiliar," says Menzel, who unpacked at the Mount Nelson Hotel (76 Orange St.; 27-21/483-1000; www.mountnelson.co.za; doubles from $848). "The best part—whatever you ask for, no matter how crazy, they will always bring it."
ON THE TOWN Due to a lot of late-night shoots, Menzel did most of her sightseeing after dark. "What impressed me most was the multicultural aspect of the city," she says. "The music was great and the people were from all over the world." Her favorite spots: Jo'burg (218 Long St.; 27-21/422-0142) and the Leopard Room at the Twelve Apostles Hotel & Spa (Victoria Rd.; 27-21/437-9000).
ENCORE PERFORMANCE "I plan to come back with my husband [actor Taye Diggs] and go on a safari."
—H. Scott Jolley