Idina’s tour dates can be found here: Idina Menzel Website
Star rating: ****
An evening at Symphony Hall is one never to be missed, it’s one of my favourite venues. An evening in the company of musical theatre and film star, Idina Menzel, was also an evening full of promise. Unfortunately it promised to bring that dreaded number ‘Let It Go’ with it, cue head in hands, fingers in ears was my thought process ahead of the start of the concert! I am happy to report that a cunning way of performing the track (which still resonates and occasionally grates after all this time) with fans on stage helping out was a lovely gesture on Idina’s part. Who doesn’t dream of meeting their idol, let alone singing with them, and it much improved the experience I had anticipated engaging in a toilet break, for!
Opening the gig by playing drums was a nifty move and I was heartened by the fact that Menzel made so much of the fact that she got her big break in the musical, Rent. Seasons Of Love was one of the highlights for me and her deep respect for the show, the late writer and the fact that it had been responsible for the start of her journey shone through. The rendition of Don’t Rain On My Parade gave Streisand a run for her money and Bridge Over Troubled Water was an apt choice considering recent happenings around the world. Her banter was easy with the adoring fans and she engaged wonderfully with the audience, feeling like we were permitted to take a glimpse into her private bubble added an extra dimension to the evening. Menzel also admitted that she had been suffering from Laryngitis, there were certainly moments where she was unable to hold the microphone close due to potential note wobbles. In spite of any health hindrances, nothing could beat her a cappella version (without microphone) of For Good from Wicked. It was a beautiful moment and showcased extraordinary vocal capabilities.
Menzel’s command of the stage is quite something, if it had simply been an evening of just her with no band or backing vocalists, I still believe that it would have been a great evening’s entertainment. Although the band and backing singers certainly enhanced the show and the violinist in particular was quite stunning to listen to. It was refreshing to have the warm up artists selected from among the band too. One criticism would be the length of time we waited in between the warm up artists and the main lady herself. The momentum built nicely while the support act performed and the atmosphere felt a little flat afterwards and took some building back up, in my opinion.
Overall, the setlist contained a good mixture of music and the old favourites which she is associated with were all thrown in for good measure. If you can go and see the lady in action, I urge you to go – if she can sing like that with a poorly throat, then at full fitness she would be phenomenal! A fantastic role model for all of the Elsa wannabes out there too!