June 13, 2012
Music Hall at Fair Park
Dallas, TX USA
Review by Joel Weisberg
Photos by Steve Thompson
Idina Menzel - Dallas
(Photos taken at the Midland Theatre in Kansas City, MO June 19, 2012)
While the storm clouds were gathering outside the Fair Park Music Hall in Dallas, Texas, a perfect evening was forming inside under a bright star - a television and Broadway star that is - named Idina Menzel.
Tonight was the second stop on this pop singer / songwriter's much anticipated summer tour. From the moment this New York native stepped on stage, Menzel lifted the dampen spirits of this capacity crowd who had dashed through the lightning, rain and even hail outside to catch this Tony award winning artist's show. She personally made sure their efforts were not in vain.
The 41-year old barefoot diva greeted the crowd with a million dollar smile and immediately charmed the very appreciative Dallas audience. The evening's festivities opened with the artist singing a very appropriate "Somewhere over the Rainbow" immediately followed with 'The Wizard and I' from her Broadway smash Wicked. In 2004, Menzel won the Tony Award for creating the role of Elphaba in this hugely successful Broadway production. The singer then showed her versatility with an adult arrangement that included portions of Cole Porter's "Love for Sale" interwoven with the hit single by The Police, "Roxanne." She would later do a wonderful job appeasing all her teen fans in attendance as well.
Members of the Dallas Pops orchestra performed in perfect harmony with Menzel's New York based touring troupe of musicians throughout this 90-minute extravaganza. The first of many highlights was the stirring rendition of Barbara Streisand's "Don't Rain on My Parade." Idina's powerful pipes jolted everyone to their feet as she belted out the popular tune. Another major highlight arrived with her vocal performance on "Take Me or Leave Me," from another Broadway musical she was involved with, Rent. During this engaging song - and I do mean engaging - the songstress left the stage and made her way into the packed hall. Asking the young fans not to mob her, she sang duets of the popular song with members of the audience. This was capped off by Dallas radio personality Kidd Kraddick's daughter, Caroline, meeting Idina on stage to finish off the tune.
Menzel's perfectly toned voice meshed well with the musician's backing her powerful voice. Her charm and wit were also on display throughout the night as she constantly told anecdotes about her own life, a pension for performing sans shoes, her relationship with husband Taye Diggs, (whom she met on the set of Rent), and amusing stories about the her two-year old son Walker. Again, her incredibly powerful voice really brought to life the Broadway songs she performed, original compositions, and music from her pop albums. Indeed, there was something for everyone to enjoy that left the audience humming their own tunes by night's end.
To top off the evening's performance, the sultry soprano came out for two separate encores. She brought the house down with the final number. Without the orchestra or a microphone, Menzel sang the Broadway song "For Good" and seamlessly transitioned it into "Defying Gravity." It prompted a roaring standing ovation as she finished and walked off the stage. It was truly a 'wicked' evening for all.