IDINA MENZEL AT THE SANDS – by Diane Fleischman

Story & Photographs by Diane Fleischman

Hot off her heels from Japan, Idina Menzel dazzled an excited crowd Wednesday night at the Sands Event Center.  Out on the road for her 50 cities 2017 World tour, Menzel kicked off her state side concerts right here in Bethlehem.  “I think it was a good move to come back after Japan and start it off here,” Menzel happily stated. 

Throughout the show, one thing was certain.  Menzel cannot be nailed down to one genre of music.  The music ran the gamut with a mix of her latest release, “Idina”, Broadway tunes such as “Seasons of Love”, “I’m Not That Girl”, “For Good”, and “Defying Gravity”, and threw in “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (Simon and Garfunkel), Dear Prudence (The Beatles), and a snippet of the hard rocking “Black Dog” (Led Zepplin), which was added towards the end of “Cake”.   She joked with the crowd, “I’m glad I got that out of my system.” 

Menzel owned the stage, with a stage presence so high, the crowd was entranced with her mezzo-soprano vocals during “Don’t Rain on My Parade”, and “Wind Beneath My Wings”.   She paid tribute to Jonathan Larson, creator of Rent, who passed away the day before the Broadway debut, with “No Day But Today”.  She sat down at the edge of the stage and became soft spoken and said, “ I realized how important it is to embrace every moment and be present.” 

For the children in the audience, their favorite song, “Let it Go”, from the Disney movie Frozen, came towards the end of the set, as the children were encouraged to join Menzel at the stairs leading up to the stage in a full sing a long.  It was endearing, and reinforced Menzel’s love for children.   

It was a night of musical magic, where every song performed was an instant crowd favorite.  For this Tony and Grammy award winning artist, Menzel brought an array of the best of the best as she won the entire audience over.