Idina Menzel Defies Gravity at the Saenger Theatre
Jul 28 2017

Idina Menzel at the Saenger Theatre

By: Steve Hatley

Tuesday night’s Idina Menzel show at The Saenger Theatre was, by all means, the definition of humility. The show marked the first time she’s been back to the city since she played the Saenger nearly two years ago. This time around, along with her Broadway and Frozen songs, she was promoting her 2016 self-titled release. The set was a nice balance of her new material and the classics that the audience absolutely loved. The nice thing about the songs from the new album is the fact that they combine really well with the older material.

Throughout the evening, Menzel shared stories about the new songs and her pre-Rent experiences as a wedding singer. In telling her stories, the connections between her and the audience grew and were in hyper-mode when she invited “all the little ones” to the stage to help her sing “Let it Go.” She is still having fun with the fact that the song has scared so many parents. She enjoyed all the pretty faces that came to the stage, and was taken aback by one girl who came up in full-on Elphaba garb. The vocal talents of the little ones were cute and several of them outshined the others, much to Menzel’s surprise. 

In addition to “Let it Go,” Menzel also performed a reworked version of “Do You Want to Build a Snowman” with the Beatles' “Dear Prudence.” She did the same type of thing earlier in her set, attaching Led Zeppelin’s “Black Dog” to one of her songs, “Cake.” The set was perfectly choreographed, both in staging and lighting, and brought all the theatrics of a musical to the foreground of a rock show. 

The evening concluded with one of her most heartfelt stories about the inspiration for the song, “I See You.” She had people from all over the world send in videos of themselves being silly and, in turn, produced a video of them to accompany the song. 

Needless to say, the evening was beyond spectacular. Hearing her perform songs from Rent and Wicked, both musicals I adore, was a treat that no 400-word recap could ever begin to describe or encapsulate. Topping that off with how genuine and humble she was made for a perfect evening. One thing for sure, she is well beyond the two songs that have come to define her. You can see more pictures here.

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