Although this blog is predominantly dedicated to books, as some of you may know I’m a massive musical theatre fan and for that reason, this is a post I just simply had to write.
On June 22nd 2015, I saw my queen Idina Menzel live at the Birmingham Symphony Hall. The Tony Award Winner has starred in many musicals, most notably originating the roles of Elphaba in ‘Wicked’, Maureen in ‘Rent’ and Elizabeth in the recent success ‘If/Then’. However if you’re not a musical theatre fan, you will probably know her as Elsa from the box office hit ‘Frozen’ and the singer of the incredibly annoying yet brilliant ‘Let it Go’.
“I’m never going back, the past is in the past”
I don’t know if you’ve ever been fortunate enough to see one of your idols and role models live, and if you haven’t, I can’t precisely explain how it feels. As soon as I heard Idina’s voice I had shivers and when I first saw her I had to fight back sobs. I was more starstruck than I’ve been at all of the concerts I’ve been to combined. She opened with ‘Defying Gravity’, the show-stopping act 1 finale from ‘Wicked’ and true to the song lyrics, at that moment no one could “bring meeeeeeeeee down (aaaaah)”
“I’m through with playing by the rules of someone else’s game”
Idina sang some of my favourite songs from her musicals, such as ‘The Wizard and I’, ‘Always Starting Over’ and ‘For Good’ and she also sang some other brilliant songs, a mixture of showtunes and normal music. Idina also graced us with some of her original songs, my favourites ‘Brave’ and ‘I Stand’ and a song from her new album that she wrote for her little boy. Her Ethel Merman tribute was a clear highlight along with her emotional performance of Creep by Radiohead. Her powerful voice filled the massive hall when she sang ‘For Good’ acapella and without a microphone and I suspect many audience members were crying along with me.
“So much of me is made of what I learned from you. You’ll be with me like a handprint on my heart. “
Idina felt very real and honest and despite being known as one of the greatest Broadway divas of the century, she wasn’t arrogant at all. She was overcome with emotion at several moments in her performance – as was I when she sang ‘No Day But Today’ (my favourite song from ‘Rent’) as a moving tribute to Jonathan Larson who passed away just before his show opened on Broadway.
“I can’t control my destiny. I trust my soul, my only goal is just to be”
Idina often duets ‘Take Me Or Leave Me’ (from ‘Rent’) at her concerts and I was delighted to hear that she would be doing t again. I was so close to singing with her and she stood literally two metres away from me. Nevertheless, it was still amazing to see the level of talent (and sass) possessed by some of the audience members.
“A tiger in a cage can never see the sun. This diva needs her stage, baby let’s have fun”
Idina Menzel is definitely my favourite act I’ve seen live out of all of the concerts I’ve seen. I was gripped every second from the beginning all the way to the closing number (the iconic ‘Tomorrow’ from ‘Annie’.) A review of ‘If/Then’ displayed above the theatre stated:
“Idina Menzel is a blazing supernova”
And I can think of no better way to describe the star I witnessed on-stage that night.