Philadelphia’s Merriam Theater is a historic venue located in the heart of the arts district of Center City. Since 1918, this gorgeous 1,870-seat cultural paragon has hosted some of the most iconic productions and featured some of the most beloved and esteemed performers of all time. From George Gershwin musicals to Hamlet, notables such as John Barrymore, Helen Hayes, Katharine Hepburn, Sammy Davis Jr., Angela Lansbury, and Laurence Olivier have all graced this celebrated stage.
Last night, Monday, May 1, 2017, the elegantly attired vocalist, Lea Michele, took her rightful place as part of that elite list of extraordinary entertainers when she kicked off her tour to a capacity crowd. Her immaculate set featured songs pulled from both her just released Places album and her debut, Louder, as well as choice selections from Glee. In between songs, the charismatic artist engaged her audience with stories and wickedly fun, off-the-cuff interactions with fans who continually professed their love and admiration for the artist throughout the entire evening.
Backed by five accomplished musicians — three strings, drums, and a keyboard —Lea’s voice was always the effortless star. She was an absolutely adorable diva who playfully “demanded” such amenities as hot tea to keep her voice ever flawless while she performed.
Over the course of the evening, there were numerous times when the impassioned roar of cheers completely overwhelmed the venue’s impressive sound system making it feel like The Beatles had just taken the stage at The Ed Sullivan Show. However, the moment the crowd absolutely lost it was when Lea brought out her good friend Jonathan Groof (Frozen, Hamilton, Glee, Spring Awakening) and the pair performed “Rolling in the Deep,” a song the TV couple had performed together on Glee.
That attention to emotional detail is what made Lea Michele’s show so perfect. She has a way of creating unforgettable moments. The night was filled with goosebumps, laughter, tears of joy, and love… both for Lea and from her. She is a remarkably delightful spark of brilliance who is unfathomably talented and possesses a kind heart. As a performer, she is truly in a league of her own. On her new album, you can hear the talent and feel her heart, but to experience the full Lea, you need to see her live.
Current list of remaining dates for Lea Michele’s “Intimate Evening” tour:
May 3 – Boston, MA – Shubert Theater
May 4 – Ledyard, CT – The Fox Theater at Foxwoods Resort Casino
May 6 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall
May 8 – Seattle, WA – Moore Theatre
May 10 – San Francisco, CA – Palace of Fine Arts