Concert Reviews

Idina Menzel at the Sony Centre for the Performing Arts

Performing the last show of the highly celebrated world tour, Idina Menzel treated her Toronto fans to the level of entertainment that is rarely found outside of Manhattan and Las Vegas. Starting the sold- out show with a video montage, Idina Menzel emerged on the stage to perform Defying Gravity from the very well loved musical, Wicked. The original Alphaba, Mrs. Menzel received her first of many standing ovations, which was followed by her friendly and humorous interaction with the all excited and loving audience. She then continued with Don’t Rain on My Parade, a Barbara Streisand cover, followed by Brave, and I Stand. The show continued with The Wizard and I, another classic from Wicked, followed by a Joni Mitchell cover, River. 

Remembering her theater days at NYU and the gay professor she had crush on, Mrs. Menzel continued by performing Love for Sale, combined with The Police’s classic, Roxanne. She then continued by paying a medley tribute to a Broadway star, Ethel Merman, including There’s No Business Like Show Business, Anything Goes, and Everything’s Coming Up Roses. The show continued with Radiohead’s Creep, following by Rent’s Take Me or Leave Me, in which Mrs. Menzel was joined by three hand- picked members of the audience. If due to mere randomness, as I believe it was, the choices became the evidence for the impressive level of talent among the undiscovered singers and performers in the city of Toronto. 

The night’s set ended with the most anticipated Let It Go, in which Mrs. Menzel first invited the audience to sing along the chorus with her, and then invited the children in the audience to join her on the front of the stage to do the same. A beautiful scene, even though the crowed of parents filming their kids with smartphones and iPads made Mrs. Menzel wonder, how the children are going to safely return to their seats while the grown ups blocking the only walk way. At the end, it all went well.

A surprising snippet of Red Hot Chili Peppers’s Give It Away during Let It Go outro, and Mrs. Menzel was out of the stage at Sony Centre, just to come back for the encore, Tomorrow from the musical Annie. 

There are many stars shinning in the universe of Show business, but few quite like Idina Menzel with the ability to love and be loved, to entertain and be entertained, and to create lovely entertaining memories, no matter how badly her name is pronounced by a celebrity at the Oscars. 

Thanks to Princeton Entertainment for media access.

About author

Photographer, and Senior Music Writer at Live in Limbo. Agah is a musician, sound designer, and hobbyist writer & photographer. He is a voting member of the Recording Academy (GRAMMY Awards), and former voting member and judge of CARAS (JUNO Awards).