YOUR MAMAS NOTES: A wee bit of previously unreported celebrity real estate news from nearly a year ago recently bubbled to the surface via The Bizzy Boys at Celebrity Address Aerial. Back in late April 2010, married stars of stage and screen Idina Menzel and Taye Diggs laid out $2,090,000 for a privately situated property in the rustic Fryman Canyon area in Studio City, CA.
Very few actors who attempt to cross over from television to film or from film to stage or stage to television (etc.) have much success. For better or worse, actors often get pigeonholed into a specific medium. Your Mama has a booze-fueled theory about why it is that Tinseltown actors often get packaged up as little more than a typecast commodity but that’s really another topic for another place. One of the lucky few who has successfully and seemingly seamlessly got his showbiz jollies out in multiple media mediums is Taye Diggs.
It was humble beginnings in the Big Business of Show for Mister Diggs who in his youth hoofed it at the decidedly unglamorous Busch Gardens amusement park in Williamsburg, VA. Oh, no he didn’t. Oh, yes he did. By the mid-1990s Mister Diggs and his well-formed chocolate brown chassis had clawed his way up the showbiz ladder to a coveted spot in the ensemble of Broadway’s 1994 revival of Carousel. His Broadway fish got to fryin‘ and pipes a-blowin‘ magic the following year when he originated the roll of the mean ol‘ landlord in the musical theater phenom Rent. He later appeared Chicago and Wicked, both on Broadway.
Mister Diggs quickly transitioned from stage to the silver screen (How Stella Got Her Groove Back, Go, The House on Haunted Hill) and from the big screen to the little screen (Ally McBeal, Kevin Hill, Will & Grace). Since 2007 Mister Diggs has been shaking his money maker on the hospital drama Private Practice, a program we confess to having never bothered to watch.
Mister Diggs and his Tony award-winning wife Idina Menzel (Rent, Wicked, Glee), produced a no-doubt Broadway-bound baby in the fall of 2009. As is often the case with the affluent and/or the famous, a new kid also means a new house.
According to listing information that Your Mama persuaded out of the interweb, the new west coast abode of Mister Digs and Miz Menzel measures a substantial but not gigantic 4,961 square feet and has half a dozen bedrooms and 3.5 bathrooms that include a first floor master suite with an unquestionably insipid pooper.
The house, discretely tucked up into the tail end of a cul–de-sac, has no identifiable architectural pedigree or reference; It’s just a large but perfectly ordinary house in a desirable location. Since listing photos show the house as it appeared before it was sold to Mister Diggs and Miz Menzel, Your Mama will refrain from a discussion on the previous owners’ wildly eclectic decorating choices that run from a painfully banal Ethan Allen traditional sort of thing with beige wall to wall carpeting in the master bedroom to a spare but warm minimalism with a strong twist of mid-century modern in the family room. Put side by side these two rooms do not look like they could possibly be occupied by the same people. But that’s no matter, really, since Mister Diggs and Miz Menzel have surely–we hope–hired their own nice, gay decorator to wash away all the decorative sins of the previous owners and turn the house o.u.t.-out in a style that better suits and reflects their own tastes and preferences.
The frosted glass front doors–that appear, much to our absolute horror, to have a Home Despot-style etched detailing–open into a double-height foyer with golden hardwood floors and a curved floating staircase likely to give even a half-assed Feng Shui follower a damn stroke. It’s not just that the bottom of the staircase appears in the listing photo to be uncomfortably close to the front door. It’s that the bottom of the stairs end directly in front of the front door, a situation that, according to Feng Shui Florinda can cause the home owner’s money to tumble down the stairs and right out the front door.
Anyhoo, the residence includes all the normal rooms one expects in a two million dollar crib including a formal living room with fireplace and low-looking ceiling, a formal dining room with second fireplace and French doors that lead to a dining terrace and a second floor office punished with a cramped-looking pitched ceiling and fitted with some very odd Neoclassical-ish built-in shelves and cabinetry.
The kitchen, a notably large but awkwardly configured space, has hardwood floors, a vaulted glass ceiling and an adjacent breakfast area. The nearby family room, by far the nicest and most interesting room in the house as far as Your Mama is concerned, has hardwood floors, a pitched wood ceiling with exposed beams and a bank of extra-wide sliding glass doors that open to the backyard where a flagstone terrace wraps around two sides of the simply-shaped rectangular swimming pool with a wide set of steps at one end and a spa and bench nestled into the opposite end.
All the children who regularly dine at Your Mama’s celebrity real estate table surely recall that we just discussed the Fryman Canyon area of Studio City where Survivor host Jeff Probst recently plunked down five million big ones for cowboy singer Gene Autry’s former estate. Other well-known property owners in the Fryman Canyon area include Teri Hatcher, Leah Remini, George Clooney, and actor/director Lea Thompson (Caroline in the City) and her hubby director Howard Deutch (My Best Friend’s Girl, Pretty in Pink).
Not surprisingly, Mister Diggs and Miz Menzel maintain a New York City residence in the Flatiron near Madison Square Park.
listing photos: Dilbeck Realtors