Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Let It Go, for the love of Pete

What a year 2014 was for singer Idina Menzel.  

John Travolta, who seems more Barbarino-ish than we ever thought possible, called her by the wrong name during the Academy Awards show, without the slightest sense of having a hint that her name is not Adele Dazeem.

It's actually Idina Mentzel, if you want to be technical about it. But most people in show biz change their names, to make them easier for John Travolta to pronounce.  And you see how that turns out!

I don't happen to be her #1 fan, but I know the woman is talented, and, again, 2014 was a good year for her, professionally. She was in a Broadway hit called "If/Then" (as in IF pigs start flying from here to Kankakee, THEN I will sit through another Broadway musical) and earned a Tony award nomination as Best Actress in a Musical. She also won the Breakthrough Artist award at the 2014 Billboard Women in Music awards ceremony. She released a popular album of holiday songs.

On the sad side, she was divorced from former husband Taye Diggs.

And of course, everyone under 12 sang along with the soundtrack of "Frozen," the Disney picture in which Menzel sang the role of Elsa and bestowed upon our ears the Academy Award-winning, and Grammy-nominated song "Let It Go".

Have you heard that song?  Note to law enforcement personnel: if you're ever sweating me in an interrogation room, trying to get me to confess to a string of strong-arm robberies, I won't crack, because I have never robbed anyone of their arms, strong or otherwise.  

But I will confess to everything short of the Watergate conspiracy if you lock me in a room and play "Let It Go" and that "Happy" song over and over and over.  

Idina Menzel
You might have seen and heard Idina on "Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve" up in Times Square, singing her "Let It Go" song, and apparently she hit a rough note or two, singing outside late at night with the temperature in the chillies.

And so people sitting at home, people who have never been asked to sing anything anywhere, took after her on Twitter and Facebook and at office water coolers, complaining that she missed a note.  I'm a longtime lover of country music, so hitting the notes with operatic precision doesn't count for too much with me as long as the singer or fiddler makes the emotional connection with the audience.

And she responded magnificently, saying, 

"There are about 
3 million notes in a two-and-a-half-hour musical; being a perfectionist, it took me a long time 
to realize that if I'm hitting 75 percent of them, 
I'm succeeding. Performing isn't only about
 the acrobatics and the high notes: It's staying in the moment, connecting with the audience 
in an authentic way, and making yourself 
real to them through the music. I am more than the notes I hit, and that's how I try to approach my life. You can't get it all right all the time, but 
you can try your best. If you've done that, all 
that's left is to accept your shortcomings and have 
the courage to try to overcome them."
In other words, if you think you can sing better than Idina Menzel, how come you weren't on Dick Clark's Rockin' New Year's Eve? She did her best, so...let it go.

No comments: