Idina Menzel, Symphony Hall, Birmingham - review

Tony-award winning Idina Menzel took to the stage at Birmingham’s Symphony Hall as part of her 2017 world tour last night.

Idina Menzel. Pic: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson
Idina Menzel. Pic: REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson

Rising to prominence as the role of Maureen Johnson in the Broadway musical Rent, Menzel is also well known for her role as Elphaba in Broadway’s Wicked as well as being the voice of Queen Elsa in Disney’s Frozen. Her recording career has seen her release five studio albums, with the most recent Idina being released towards the end of 2016.

With the stage adorned with silver drapes, the songstress took to the stage backed by a large band to break into Queen of Swords from her latest album. This then saw Menzel taking the Birmingham audience on an evening of highlights from her extensive and varied career as well as covers of Led Zeppelin’s Black Dog and a high energy version of Aretha Frankin’s Rock Steady.

Highlights from Idina’s musical career included Defying Gravity and I’m Not That Girl from Wicked as well as No Day But Today from Rent. As well received as these all are however, it’s the tracks from Disney hit Frozen that got the best response such as a stunning melding of The Beatles Dear Prudence with Do You Want to Build a Snowman. For Let It Go, Menzel asked children from the audience to join her in singing from the stage, with children running and jumping over seats at the chance to sing with one of their idols.

As a show woman, Menzel has a fantastic ability to switch from one minute seeming like the biggest star on the planet to seeming the most welcoming and accessible the next. Her voice is a talent to be admired, with an a-capella version of Wicked’s For Good proving just why she treads the boards of some of Broadway’s biggest theatres and shows, made all the better by the fantastic acoustics within the Symphony Hall.

For an artist to outgrow musical theatre to become a performing artist in their own right is a feat in itself, however Idina Menzel's opportunity is play and define iconic roles both in theatre and film mean that’s she’s certainly here to stay.

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