Musical theatre and Glee star, Idina Menzel, takes to the Apollo Theatre stage this week. Best known for her roles in Rent and Wicked, the singer literally gallops onto stage with girlish excitement. Mixing trademark songs — including Defying Gravity — with classic pop tunes, Menzel showcases her exceptionally powerful and captivating voice.
Originally from Long Island, Menzel was a wedding singer before finding fame on Broadway. She speaks endearingly onstage of her past experiences, stating: “it’s a dream to be here on my own – and not in green make-up [as worn in Wicked]”. Her warm personality radiates as she shows the audience her bare feet (she never wears shoes in performance), jokes that she rarely sees straight men in the audience and describes her love for her three year old son. At one point, she even comes into the auditorium to duet with some (clearly future singing star) members of the public.
A large orchestra of predominantly local musicians accompany the singer and their talent matches her incredible vocals. Her singing is simply spectacular and deservedly brings the audience to an enthusiastic standing ovation. It is great to see the performer being herself rather than a character, but we couldn’t help feeling a little disappointed that so much of the 90 minute set was spent chatting rather than performing.
Nevertheless, hearing Menzel’s voice is inspiring and if you’re a fan of musical theatre, you’re sure to love this show.
Idina Menzel is at the Apollo Theatre until October 14. Tickets available here.
Photo: Robin Wong