Sunday, June 22, 2008

Idina Menzel @ Humphrey's Concerts By The Bay

Okay, is anyone else getting overrun by ants in the heat wave? I mean, geez. They're all over the place!

This morning I was picking them off my bed! I don't even know how they got there!

Buggy problems aside, I did have a good time this week. Thanks to a couple of friends and deep appreciation for Wicked and Rent, I got the chance to check out Idina Menzel in concert. Now, I'll admit it readily, I'm not the biggest concert fan. A lot of it is, I'm sure, the ADDness peaking through, a part of it has to be my big distaste for crowds, but I didn't buy the ticket, and I do LOVE Idina Menzel. I love Idina Menzel enough to go to England to see her perform as Elphaba in Wicked, so I suppose I could sacrifice a weekend to head to San Diego and see her sing her little heart out. (Thanks to angela for the pics).

In case you don't know Idina (and you should), Idina Menzel is a broadway Tony award winning singer/actress (but sadly, not the best dancer), who originated the roles of Maureen in Rent and Elphaba in Wicked. She is also featured in Enchanted (as McDreamy's fiancee), but mostly, she's known for those two roles, and her incredible singing chops. Oh, and she's married to this kinda hot actor guy named Taye Diggs. Yeah. Tough times for Idina Menzel.

The concern took place by the bay, at a restaurant/hotel called 'Humphrey's'. It took place outside, and the view from the bay really was gorgeous. The crowd itself was eclectic, not really surprising when you think about it. Little kids were there, sporting Wicked Witch hats, and holding Grimmerie books (song books from the musical). There were a lot of couples there; gay, straight, older, younger, and also crowds of young females, which made the event ... loud, to say the least.

While we were waiting for Idina to show up, we were 'treated' to the opening act, which was okay for an opening act. Not really a band as much as a couple guys with a guitar and a violin, singing songs that sounded as if they belonged in "A Prairie Home Companion." The most amusing part of this was the seagulls who landed on top of the stage and glanced down with perplexed birdee expressions, wondering what all the fuss was about.

An hour after we were seated, the crowd exploded in a slowly increasing roar of cheers. Was it IDINA?! No, dammit. It was that insanely hot TAYE guy. You know... the one who gave Stella her groove back. He actually had the balls to sit in the audience. Touche, Mr. Diggs.

And then, Idina came out. In skin tight gray pants and a beautiful swagger, and man can that girl sing. She's also a bit of a spaz, but that's to be suspected. She was nursing a cold (I really have to stop french kissing my fans, she said) and seemed increasingly distracted by the view from the stage, interrupting her monologues repeatedly to tell the audience how gorgeous the water was ( I wish you could see it, she said generously), and basically winging her performance.

She really is a great performer, and man do the people love her.

Most hilarous parts? Her responses to her crazy audience shouting requests:

Audience member: Sing Defying Gravity!
Idina: No, you don't get to tell me what to do. Shhh.

Audience member: Will you sing at my wedding?
Idina: No fucking way! Please! Are you kidding?

She did however, produce a couple really touching shout outs - one to a couple who had just celebrated their 20th wedding anniversary, and another to a gay couple who had just gotten married that day.

I really did gain a new appreciation for her album, Brave. It just comes off so much more powerful when she sings it live.

And her encore rendition of 'Defying Gravity'? Left me breathless.

Idina is a spastic kind of adorable diva, and man was I glad I got to see her do her thing.

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