A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of going to The Royal Albert Hall for the first time. My friend Sarah kindly took me to a concert to see Idina Menzel.
Now I had never heard of her, but when Sarah explained she was Rachel's mother in Glee I knew who she meant. Idina has also been in Hollywood film Enchanted, but I didn't know she was best known for roles on Broadway, and was the original Elpheba in the musical Wicked as well as winning a prestigious Tony award.
On that night she performed in London to a sell-out crowd for one night only. She was accompanied by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra who were stunning.
The orchestra, accompanied by conductor Marvin Hamlisch opened the show. You could hear a pin drop with how intently the crowd listened - who were a mixture of die-hard Idina fans, and some newcomers off the back of her Glee role.
I loved the personal touches throughout the concert. She treated us to stories of her life, from growing up in Long Island, New York, to becoming a wedding and Bar Mitzvah singer. How during one of her gigs someone had a heart attack, but she was ordered to keep singing. At another her and a friend were pelted with food and they retalliated by pelting the young boys back, then proceeded to hide in the toilets for two hours.
There were a few moments which brought a lump to my throat. One of the most poignant was when she told about her first professional role in Rent. The creator Jonathan Larson died, and she said it had a lasting effect on her. She sang a touching version of No Day But Today from the musical.
But it was when she sang For Good in an acapella style - without her microphone(!) that really moved me because it felt so raw.
My favourite standout song of the night had to be Defying Gravity from Wicked reprising her role as the original Elphaba. And let me tell you that sitting three rows from the stage this was quite an experience! It brought the house down when she finished and showed what a stunning singer Idina really is.