Idina Menzel has managed to establish herself as a Broadway star, a decent movie and television actress and a recording artist. With her appearances as Rachel's mother in Glee she has managed to cross over into the mainstream. And it's at this point when we join her for an intimate, funny and heartfelt evening in Manchester.
I remember her in Jonathan Larson's Rent and was also lucky enough to see her in Wicked in the West End. Fans of both shows do not go home disappointed as she sings two songs from each of these huge musicals. During "Take me or Leave Me" - Idina invites audience members up to sing with her. It leads to mixed results but a shy singer called Bethany blows the audience away. It's true - Britain has got Talent.
Menzel covers many classics and does so with aplomb and is never workmanlike in her delivery. Peter Gabriel's "In Your Eyes" becomes much more of a toe tapper in her capable hands. She also does Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" justice - retaining the poignancy of the original and she is fully aware that sometimes holding back makes the song more emotionally resonant.
In between songs, Menzel's banter is very amusing as she is very self deprecating and in many ways very unlike an American. She recalls her time as a wedding singer and mentions that many women failed to look at the meaning behind the lyrics of the songs that they chose. So there she is singing Whitney Houston's "Saving All My Love For You" fully aware that it's about infidelity as a couple dance away to it - oblivious.
The orchestra are all tremendous and rise to the awesome challenge that Idina's vocal gymnastics provide. There are times when the show could do with more spit and polish and the odd rockier number as she has the chops for it. But this is a magical evening and you feel very lucky to spend an evening with this witty, talented and charming chanteuse as she defies gravity - vocally and beyond.