Idina Menzel's Worldwide Tour Stops In Philadelphia

Philadelphia
July 16, 2015

Hours before gates to Philadelphia's Mann Center opened to the public, Idina Menzel was running through the grass surrounding the stage with her son. A happy, carefree Menzel displayed an impressive knowledge of dinosaurs much to her son's delight.

Idina Menzel took the stage at 8:20pm, and delivered a powerful performance, lasting nearly two hours. Six year olds dressed in Princess Elsa costumes sat alongside 65 year olds discussing Menzel's most recent Broadway stint in If/Then. Most striking, the number of tweens. The most coveted demographic were sprinkled throughout the audience, mesmerized.

Kicking off the night with "Defying Gravity," Menzel moved effortlessly with audience members hanging on every note from Ethel Merman covers, to Radiohead's "Creep." "Sometimes, you have days you just don't feel like singing Let it Go," Menzel explained before launching into a stirring rendition of "Creep." She did, of course, include "Letting Go" at the end of the evening, and threw in a few Red Hot Chili Peppers' lines "Give it away now," while twirling as the audience sang the chorus from "Let it Go."

The vocal powerhouse delivered high notes and warmth. Menzel frequently pulled out her right ear monitor to hear her audience. "Why are you so late?" Menzel questioned four people entering the second row, three songs in. She continued, "I am a neurotic Jew, so I saw the empty seats, I wonder is it me, are they coming...wait, I'll recap!" and she did, complete with running back up stairs from which she descended to start the night.

Menzel's connection with her adoring fans was on display throughout the evening, as she ran through the audience for her signature fan duets during "Take Me or Leave Me" from Rent. She seemed relaxed, while walking through the crowd, once muttering, "Shit! It came off," referring to losing her shoe, as she continued barefoot through the venue. While there were no restrictions on taking a photo, nor video with a cell phone, Menzel's audience sat transfixed, a testament to Menzel's ability to enchant.

Tony nods and multiple solo tours later, Menzel showcased her vocal prowess. Her voice on songs from Rent, some twenty years ago, stronger than ever. Her appreciation for her audience genuine. Broadway royalty? Pop with power? While critics search for such terms to describe her voice, her presence, it's pure Idina Menzel. If you have the chance to catch one concert this Summer, Idina Menzel is a must.

Tour dates found on the web:  idinamenzel.com.

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