We just returned from the excellent one-time-only Idina Menzel and New York Philharmonic concert at Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall. This was Ms. Menzel’s Philharmonic debut and the evening’s conductor was Marvin Hamlisch. The performance was a benefit for the general fund of the New York Philharmonic.
Ms. Menzel had a wonderful stage presence as well as great banter with Mr. Hamlisch. Ms. Menzel told the audience stories from her life, including her days as a Long Island wedding singer, a NYU student, working with the “RENT” team Off-Broadway, her Tony winning role in “Wicked”and shared her adoration for her 17 month old son and husband, Taye Diggs. One funny story involved her black Labrador Retriever, named Sammy Davis Jr. – she quipped, that the dog is a lot like her son-a black Jew (lots of laughs).
The barefoot Ms. Menzel mixed-it-up with songs from the American songbook, “RENT”, “Wicked”. and “Glee”. It is hard to imagine The Phil covering a Lady Gaga song (“Poker Face”) but it was great. Ms. Menzel dedicated “No Day But Today” to Jonathan Larsen (the late composer and playwright of “RENT”). Later, Ms. Menzel turned off her mic and sang a cappella “For Good” with only her voice filling the grand space.
I was lucky to get tickets to this ‘Sold Out’ performance and I actually used StubHub to get our great center orchestra seats. This is the first time I actually paid more than face value for any ticket! The performance was worth it.
Lincoln Center’s Avery Fisher Hall, February 5, 2011, 8:00pm
New York Philharmonic
Marvin Hamlisch, Conductor
Idina Menzel, Vocalist (Debut)
Rob Mounsey, Music Director and Piano
Here is a YouTube video from the night, compliments of deejaymcknight: