Idina Menzel at Red Rocks, Enough Personality to Fill the Rocky Mountains
From barefoot entrance to delightful banter with Marvin Hamlisch, Idina charmed her fans at Red Rocks
I knew of her from Wicked and her role as Elphaba, the 'Wicked' witch. She a Tony nomination for her portrayal of Maureen in Rent and is now part of the television hit show "Glee." Knowing all this didn't prepare me for the overwhelming personality she has on the concert stage.
In tonight's concert she wasn't just saying pre-prepared lines of a character created by someone else. Many of the songs she sang were from her previous performances, but it was her personality that really filled the 9000+ venue of Red Rocks. She gallivanted on stage in a light yellow dress and bare-feet. From that first bubbly step she had the audience enamored.
Her set list included "I'm not that girl" where she ripped our hearts out with the agony she portrayed as the character Elphaba, "Poker-face" which was the song she sang on her first appearance on "Glee" and closed with "Defying Gravity" causing the very rocks to want to join in the applause. She also sang Barbra Streisand numbers "Rain on my Parade," "The Way We Were" with just as much power, finesse and feeling. AND she song a medley of John Denver hits especially for the Red Rocks concert --complete and utter class, a 1st rate performer!
Throughout the concert she included tidbits about herself, why particular songs have meaning to her or to those around her (ending the double encore with "Tomorrow" from Annie for Idina's mother who lives in the area and was at the concert). She joked, laughed, told touching stories and got very personal with the audience. This wasn't just a series of great songs sung beautifully, but a chance for Idina to reach out and touch the hearts of several thousand people enjoying a balmy Colorado Summer evening.
Marvin Hamlisch conducted the Colorado Symphony, adding several moments of banter along the way. The personalities of Idina and Marvin obviously clicked, as they joked their way through the evening. Even when Idina stopped a song (several times) to include more tidbits about why she was singing "Poker-face" the chemistry between the conductor and singer remained in perfect balance. The audience laughed and cried with every emotional journey.
I'd buy tickets to see her in a couple weeks in Deer Park Utah if I could make the trip. She has an amazing voice, but it was her personality that lit up the Rocky Mountains.