Home > humor, pop culture > Idina Menzel Knows Nothing About Cognitive Development

Idina Menzel Knows Nothing About Cognitive Development

On Thursday evening, David and I left our two kids with a babysitter and a few flashlights (we’d had a major storm that took out our power, knocked down a branch and shattered our lamppost), and headed off to see Broadway and Glee diva Idina Menzel at the Mann Music Center, an outdoor venue that hosts all kinds of stuff every summer.

OK, she can sing — well enough to make the members of the Philadelphia Orchestra wonder why they spent countless thousands of hours studying incredibly difficult instruments only to be back-up to a (pretty clever) cover version of “Poker Face.” (To her credit, Menzel, who studied at NYU, really did seem to understand and appreciate the talent behind her; she thanked them profusely and endlessly.)

She should have done more of that, and less of her incomprehensible, meandering, and self-absorbed stage patter. At her best when she sparred with idiot hecklers in the audience — just the right mix of pissed and playful — she otherwise rambled about various and sundry aspects of her — as she knows you surely know — amazing┬ácareer. Most of the time I had no idea why she was putting one thought next to each other. I felt as though I was being subjected to live broadcasts of random neural firings.

You wouldn’t expect such a person to be a good songwriter, and Menzel isn’t. Or at least she should never be permitted to write another lyric. She sang one of her self-penned dance hits, Gorgeous, which has a shamelessly catchy pop hook, but features these wince-worthy words:

When all of the beauty turns to pain,when all of the madness falls like rain, as long as we crash and we collide, we will be gorgeous you and I.

Well, it could have been worse. As a proud and often surprisingly irony-challenged parent, I’m reluctant to criticize others for cooing about their kids. But her paean to her infant son, Walker, was enough to make me want to call the Department of Human Services. I could imagine her belting out the song she’s constructed to her helpless child, drawing screams that she probably mistakes for the adulation of her fans. And she was singing about his dreams, which are supposed to have included such storybook stock characters as — wait for it — unicorns.

OK — the kid is still an infant, about nine months old. He’s not dreaming about unicorns. Menzel, apparently, can defy both gravity and neuroscience.

  1. MJ
    June 27th, 2010 at 00:38 | #1

    Wow. You’re a dick. Why did you even bother going?

    Have a nice day!

    p.s. I don’t know how I feel about you leaving your kids at home w/ a sitter and some flashlights when there were tornado warnings going on. Sounds like bad parenting to me.

  2. Ariel
    June 27th, 2010 at 00:44 | #2

    Are you serious with this? I get not caring for the music. I get not being a fan of her roles. I can even get not understanding her humor.

    But insulting this woman’s love and adoration for her child is a bit ridiculous. And as someone who has kids — I expect more.

    Loosen up. It isn’t that deep.

  3. Jenn
    June 27th, 2010 at 00:56 | #3

    While it does seem rather odd to make the symphony play “Poker Face,” there was probably a good portion of the audience who was there solely based on her appearance from Glee. I think she did a nice job of balancing different types of music to appease everyone. She didn’t get to sing too many songs on the show and if they asked her to sing something from it, then she didn’t have a lot of options.

    And I’m pretty sure that she realizes a baby doesn’t actually dream about unicorns. It’s just a song! It’s more important for cognitive development that they’re exposing him to all kinds of musics, with different tones and rhythms.

  4. Ana
    June 27th, 2010 at 01:52 | #4

    WOW…. that was harsh. I mean she’s not the best songwriter ever (I think I’m her only fan that doesn’t cry whenever I listen to her songs) but you’ve got give her some credit.
    An yes, you’ve a point. The baby is probably not dreaming, even less about unicorns (who does?) but it’s called IMAGINATION. And I doubt she sings that song to her son the same way she did at the concert. I don’t think she has a full orchestra waiting in her living room ­čśŤ

    Anyways, the thing is that I don’t think she’s that bad.

    PS: I’m pretty sure you can do it better, am I right? ­čśë

  5. September 27th, 2010 at 09:53 | #5

    Things which matter most must never be at the mercy of things which matter least. (Goethe)

  6. September 29th, 2010 at 22:34 | #6

    Civilizations die from suicide, not by murder. -Arnold Toynbee

  7. Brie
    October 4th, 2010 at 20:28 | #7

    Wooooowwww…..Gorgeous was written before her son was even born so it has nothing to do with him. You’re dumb. Get your facts straight. Gorgeous came out in 2008 and her son wasn’t even born until 2009 idiot.

  8. October 5th, 2010 at 09:26 | #8

    You’re right. I need to do much more research on such important topics as when Idina Menzel’s child was born. How could I have been so careless?

  9. October 20th, 2010 at 15:37 | #9

    Do you people have a facebook or twitter fan web page? I looked for for one on twitter but couldn’t locate it, I would really like to become a fan!

  10. January 4th, 2012 at 16:26 | #10

    Superb written text and even excellent blog page.

  1. No trackbacks yet.