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Idina Menzel at Radio City - a hot mess?

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Andre4
Chorus Member
joined:5/31/11
I am very sorry to say this as someone who LOVED her performance in If/Then but I thought tonight's show at RC was a hot mess. I had orchestra seats and witnessed the following:

1. Relatively poor sound mixing and OK, but overall bland, arrangements
2. Various technical mishaps
3. Poor stage presence of Idina with too many boob jokes, self-referential asides, stories that did not go anywhere, and odd comments to the audience
4. A mixed bag of song selections including a rushed Let it Go, an awkward audience participation for a Rent song, and the like

It felt under-rehearsed, as if she was winging it. And what was up with the onstage changing of dresses - Lady Gaga did that better :) - the fake phone call to Taye Diggs and her son with poop references, and the constant awkward references to difficult transitions. I think her difficult private situation got the best of her and I feel for her but that was quite sub-par to me. I can typically find a lot of redeeming qualities but for where she is in her career and what kind of well-promoted setup this was it felt, to me, like a wasted opportunity for someone who can clearly have a commanding stage presence and has a great voice. Sorry to say! What did others think?
Trytodefy
Swing
joined:12/28/10
I COMPLETELY disagree. If I could say anything bad it would be that she was pitchy at moments. I think that is was an amazing chance to see who IDINA was. Not Maureen, Elphaba, Elizabeth or Elsa. It was ALL ABOUT IDINA. I thought she was lovely, funny, crood, candid and overall honest. It was just her on that stage, being her. I love that she addressed the issues in her life, she talked about people calling her "screechy". She stood up for the show she believes so strongly in, and seemed very in control the entire night. She is a woman from Long Island and will always be that. She doesn't need to be "polished" or "perfect" and I would venture to say she doesn't want to be seen as that. She is not worried about what anyone thinks of her. Every single person I heard leaving that theatre was in awe and had a wonderful evening. I heard multiple people comment about how great of a person and entertainer she is. She received multiple standing ovations. It was more like the Idina variety hour. Not only did her voice shine, but her personality really drove the show. It was so wonderful to see how down to earth, real and grateful she truly is. This is a real woman, who is living her dream and I had the pleasure of seeing it tonight.







Updated On: 6/17/14 at 12:30 AM
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BenjaminNicholas2
Stand-by
joined:3/6/09
I've seen her before and was underwhelmed. She median talent at best and plays the same shtick over and over again. I'd say she's like Sutton Foster, but hell, Sutton can at least sing AND dance at the same time.

Menzel doesn't support her singing properly and it kills me having to listen to it. She yells on key when she's tired (which happens a lot), goes flat and sharp on songs she should know with nearly perfect pitch, scoops to hit the big notes, etc. I'm sad to see so many young female singers emulate this as their model.

And to the person who said 'she doesn't care what people think of her,' you know that's complete bull****. She's a performer: Of course she craves acceptance. There are very few actors in this world that do it strictly for 'the work of it.' The applause and acceptance are what pay her bills.




Updated On: 6/17/14 at 12:48 AM
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perfectlymarvelous
Broadway Legend
joined:5/21/07
I was there tonight as well and I completely disagree, I thought she was wonderful and sounded the best I have ever heard her sound. She was like she pretty much always is in concerts. I personally find it charming and funny, but if it isn't your thing then it just isn't. I liked that she didn't censor herself, and to be honest I was surprised to see so many really little kids in the audience. I get that she's played Elphaba and a Disney princess, but anyone who thought she was going to be Elsa onstage clearly has no familiarity with her career beyond Frozen at all.

I was so, so happy for her though, I've been a fan for a long time and it was great to see her hold her own in such a big venue. My favorite moments were "Both Sides Now" and when she sang "For Good" a cappella and unamplified.
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YouWantitWhen????
Broadway Legend
joined:7/16/05
Reading the responses on Twitter it seems like she was herself - which is a bit crass and loud and fun. If you want polished perfection, well, that is not what anyone should expect in a one-night show while she is doing 8 shows a week of If/Then. From all accounts, it sounds like if you like Idina, it was a blast.

<---------- No kids, no man, but I have some great pussies! And, If you're lucky, you too can call me Your Sassy Hagness.
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BroadwayGirl107
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joined:8/26/03
She's crass, dirty, sassy, quirky, awkward, spontaneous, unpolished, vain, blunt, messy, and vulnerable--and I think it's the most charming and lovable thing in the world! Sometimes her concerts feel like you're hanging out with her and the girls drinking wine and shooting the ****. I love it, and I'm so happy she didn't lose that in such a huge venue.
"This country, this experiment, America, this hubris: what a lament if no one saw it go. Here today, gone tomorrow. Dissipation is actually much worse than cataclysm."--August: Osage County
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Marianne2
Broadway Legend
joined:3/28/08
I also disagree with the OP. I loved it. I wasn't sure what to expect and it was wonderful and funny. I like that Idina doesn't take herself too seriously. It made her seem human. And I thought she sounded great. I actually preferred this performance of Defying Gravity versus the Wicked cast recording.

Oh yeah, I did see some parents bring young kids. I guess unless the show was mentioned to be geared towards kids, most should probably not been there. This isn't just talking about the boob jokes and swearing. I couldn't see some of them enjoying some of the music if they were mostly there for Frozen or Wicked. Then again, two I am talking about could not have been older than maybe 3 to 6.
"I don't want the pretty lights to come and get me."-Homecoming 2005 "You can't pray away the gay."-Callie Torres on Grey's Anatomy. Ignored Users: suestorm, N2N Nate., Owen22, master bates
Updated On: 6/17/14 at 02:11 AM
Jazzinator
Swing
joined:5/19/14
I tend to think concert work is where she thrives and shines.
Ever since she worked with Marvin Hamlisch a few years ago I think she's built a really good thing for herself as far as concerts go. And however messy, I think it works.
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Andre4
Chorus Member
joined:5/31/11
It is so interesting to me that I seemed to have experienced that show so differently from those who have already posted. I should perhaps say that I did very much enjoy her singing - for me, it was the parts in between that were a bit too much improvised and off the mark given the context. Personally, I feel like folks such as Josh Groban or Michael Buble - who are also in their 30s / 40s and are quirky and down to earth - did that MUCH better (and with more focus) when I saw them last. (and the sound really seemed a bit muffled and poorly mixed with obvious mic problems where I was). But, hey, everyone has a different experience and if many folks liked it then that is great. I would certainly see her again and wish her personally well - I am glad most of you enjoyed it thoroughly!
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promisespromises2
Broadway Star
joined:5/23/13
Isn't that how her concerts typically go? She gets personal and vulnerable and just acts like herself. I went to her concert in PA and loved it (although she used a lot of the same shtick from Barefoot). I love seeing her like that.
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Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Wonder if she will be back tonight or will take the night off after the concert as her Broadway gig is a bit taxing vocally. Normally she would have Mondays off to rest.
Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth - Lillian Hellman.
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followspot
Broadway Star
joined:12/27/11
Personally, I feel like folks such as Josh Groban or Michael Buble - who are also in their 30s / 40s and are quirky and down to earth - did that MUCH better (and with more focus) when I saw them last.

You do realize that those two performers tour constantly, honing concert patter and technical details night after night after night. Regardless of the venue, Menzel's was a one-off concert on her day off from a Broadway show. You were expecting perfection?

"Tracy... Hold Mama's waffles."
Updated On: 6/17/14 at 09:44 AM
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YouWantitWhen????
Broadway Legend
joined:7/16/05
Exactly - she has a one-night show that is prepped in between 8 shows a week? There were bound to be some issues just because of time and prep limitations.

I actually thought of Roxy when this Merman part appeared in the NY Times Review ...

"And she cited the great Ethel Merman as the original big female Broadway voice, paying her tribute with a medley that included “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Anything Goes” and “Everything’s Coming Up Roses.” The phrase “sack of gold” from “There’s No Business Like Show Business” was sung twice, the first time demurely and the second time belted to the rafters the way Merman might have done it had she been a soprano."
A Tween Idol With a Full-Size Voice - Quirky, high-strung and far from angelic.
<---------- No kids, no man, but I have some great pussies! And, If you're lucky, you too can call me Your Sassy Hagness.
TheaterGal3
Swing
joined:5/17/14
Count me in as one of the people who disagree with the OP. I thought Idina put on a very good show. There were sound issues, but I think she managed to clear most of them up early on. She was asking the band (sound engineer?) for more piano, less something else. I’m not a sound person, but she was letting them know what she needed more/less of in her ear. That being said, I didn’t hear any issues. I thought her voice got better and better as the concert progressed. Since this was the 9th show in a row I was impressed at her hitting the notes of Defying Gravity right from the start. As others have said, the concert she put on last night is how she always is – funny, a bit crass, blunt, vulnerable, etc. My friend who was with me had never seen her perform a concert before and absolutely loved her. I’ve heard her say it’s hard to find a balance now because of the little kids that show up, but I think she does a very good job. She’s clearly doing her best to remain who she is, but she does sing Let It Go which she knows those kids want to hear live. The parents and kids in my section seemed to be enjoying the show as much as the rest of us. All in all, a very good concert.

The Ethel Merman part of the show was a lot of fun. I admit, I don’t know much about Ethel Merman, but I’ve heard those songs before and loved hearing Idina sing them. When she gave her would have been Tony acceptance speech (because she was back at Radio City) she was absolutely hilarious with the whole bit. The crowd was laughing and she really played into that. Her humor is one of the things I like best about her concerts; second only to her singing.
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Marianne2
Broadway Legend
joined:3/28/08
It's funny. It never occurred to me how little prep time Idina had for this show. Yes, there is the 8 shows a week to take into consideration. But, you also have to add in engagements for awards shows as well. This was my first time seeing her live and I was definitely impressed.
"I don't want the pretty lights to come and get me."-Homecoming 2005 "You can't pray away the gay."-Callie Torres on Grey's Anatomy. Ignored Users: suestorm, N2N Nate., Owen22, master bates
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Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
I've seen Idina in concert a few times and this show sounds exactly like what to expect when seeing her live. I absolutely love the fresh quality of her performances (even when she repeats a few stories, they don't sound rote) and the warm quality she has relating to her audience. She always seems personable, approachable and professional (I've never considered the frankness of her crudity unprofessional).
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
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haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
"Menzel doesn't support her singing properly and it kills me having to listen to it."

If this is the case, maybe her concert wasn't a good choice for you? I mean "having to listen to it" seems like it goes with the territory if you attend her concert, no?
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IdinaBellFoster
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joined:11/5/06
^^^^

THANK YOU
"Oh look at the time, three more intelligent plays just closed and THE ADDAMS FAMILY made another million dollars" -Jackie Hoffman, Broadway.com Audience Awards
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fingerlakessinger
Broadway Legend
joined:11/18/10
From the clips I'm hearing, she sounded fantastic. "Always Starting Over" is a friggin punch to the feels.
Also, it looks like she was having some issues with her ear piece during "Let it Go". During the lead up into the bridge ("My power...") she was adjusting it a lot and looked kind of concerned. Singing in front of a huge orchestra is daunting enough,even with the assistance of an ear piece, so having it break down on her must have been terrifying.
"Life in theater is give and take...but you need to be ready to give more then you take..."
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haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
I wasn't there, but did she mention potentially releasing it? I mean, selling out Radio City Music Hall could be worth a live album based on the venue alone, even more with Frozen and If/Then. Just selling it in the theater lobby would move a lot of units.
neonlightsxo
Broadway Star
joined:7/29/08
No mention of a concert album. She just put out that Barefoot at the Symphony album a few years ago, and she's still doing some of that material, so I doubt they recorded last night.

I thought the concert was fabulous. I saw her at Carnegie Hall last year as well, and I think last night was even better.
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GilmoreGirlO2
Broadway Star
joined:4/13/05
Didn’t see the show last night, but I have seen her in a concert a few times and want to repeat how much I appreciate Idina’s off-the-cuff, totally herself attitude onstage. It’s charming and feels real and in the moment. It always truly feels like each concert I see of hers is particular to that one night, that one audience and, I think, it makes the audience feel more connected to her performance. I’ve never seen Idina be able to “put on” any sort of personality other than her own, whether it be in a concert or an interview…which may result in her saying things she didn’t necessarily want to or revealing too much, but I find all of it charming, often hilarious, and refreshingly real.

Plus, she has a stellar voice with a quality that, like the NY Times review described it, demands an emotional response from me.
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
I don't care for the gal, I find her voice strident, vulgar and unattractive, and her acting humorless and bland.

But, really, that doesn't matter at all, because discussing Menzel is redundant; here's a typical conversation about her:

Fan #1: I love Idina Menzel.
Fan #2: OMG, so do I!
Fan #1: She is so amazing.
Fan #2: OMG, she really is. Idina is so amazing. I love her.
Fan #1: I love her, too.

Both fans begin texting and playing with their hair.

THE END
Liza's Headband
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joined:5/28/13
Newintown for the win. THANK YOU.
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Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Good thing you joined this thread, newintown. Sounds exactly like everything you want to read and discuss. So glad you contributed because we were really missing that very special After Eight aspect to this particular topic.

"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
Updated On: 6/17/14 at 01:33 PM
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newintown
Broadway Legend
joined:3/3/10
Oh, Matt - your sour humorlessness really knows no bounds, does it?

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