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MRP Building, Mola Corner Pasong Tirad Streets, Brgy La Paz, Makati City

Girl in a jacket

Defying gravity with Idina Menzel

By Krizia Dela Cruz

MANILA, Philippines – Fans of Frozen and musicals Wicked and Rent gathered at the SM MOA Arena last night to catch the original green girl herself, Ms. Idina Menzel perform with the ABS-CBN Philharmonic Orchestra.

Photo by Clarisse Esmile
Photo by Clarisse Esmile


A night to remember for theater fanatics

Idina looked stunning in a teal green ensemble, somehow channeling her breakout character Elphaba. She kicked things off with powerhouse numbers of Defying Gravity from Wicked the Musical and the Barbra Streisand classic Don’t Rain on My Parade. The crowd watched in awe as she invited us all to “fly” with her for this one night.

Theater fans were in for a treat as she sang mash-ups of show tunes like There’s No Business Like Show Business, Anything Goes, Everything’s Coming Up Roses from Broadway classics Annie Get Your Gun, Anything Goes and Gypsy: A Musical Fable, respectively. She also performed a sensual rendition of Love For Sale and Roxanne.

Photo by Clarisse Esmile
Photo by Clarisse Esmile


“I’ve always wanted to come here to Manila!”

A highlight from the show was when she picked three fans to come to the stage during Take Me or Leave Me of Rent fame. One of the lucky fans was The Voice PH contender Timmy Pavino.

Photo by Clarisse Esmile


“Bumitaw, bumitaw”

The Tony and Grammy Award winner also tried her hand at speaking in Filipino. Aside from the usual “mahal kita” (which she thought sounded just like “my guitar”), she upped the ante by performing the chorus to hit single Let It Go in Tagalog! She even carried a young audience member who was dressed up in Elsa garb!

A more vulnerable side of the queen

She kept an intimate conversation with her audience, even going barefoot and lying down on the floor to be more comfortable while singing songs from her albums (Still I Can’t Be Still, Brave, I Stand) and beloved covers (Joni Mitchell’s River and Radiohead’s Creep.)

Idina also dedicated a heartfelt tribute for Rent composer Jonathan Larson, who passed away before Rent had its run on Broadway. The crowd put up their phones, forming a “sea of stars” across the arena as she dished out advice on forgetting regret. Wicked the Musical’s For Good brought a moment of silence over the crowd as it was sung a cappella style, sans mic.“Because I knew you, I have been changed for good.” I’m sure every one who was a witness to this magical night felt changed for good, too.

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