It’s a long story…my nephew absolutely loves theatre. He is also an absolute nut when it comes to the Wizard of Oz. I saw Wicked in November and loved the show, but didn’t tell me nephew for jealousy reasons. He saw Wicked perform in the Macy’s parade, called me…said he had to see this show. He offered to give back all his Christmas presents for the opportunity to see the show. I bought him the cast recording for Christmas. Like most people, he loved it and memorized it in a matter of days.
I scraped together the funds to take him and my sister to NYC to see Wicked. We planned to drive in and spend one day in the city. I wrote a letter to Idina about my nephew and asked if she could send him a photo or say hello at the stage door. Much to my suprise, she and her dresser (Joby) read the letter. Joby called and invited us backstage.
On March 27, we waited on the stage after the show while Idina got out of her makeup and costume. Joby gave us a short tour of the Gershwin and told us about the mechanics of how Wicked works. Idina then came to the stage with an autographed picture for my nephew. She went right over to him and gave him a hug and kiss and said she was so happy to meet him. She took an immediate liking to Tyler. She asked him to sing for her and have very positive things to say about his voice. They talked about the shows he had been in and what is was like to be on Broadway. She
was FABULOUS. She probably spent 30-40 minutes with us and was always holding onto Tyler, held his hand, had her arm around him, etc.
When we were leaving, Tyler turned to waive good-bye and she insisted on a hug and kiss. She told him to keep in touch with her. She hugged and kissed my sister and told her she had a very talented son and to keep her up to date on his career. She hugged and kissed me and told me thank you for allowing her the opportunity to meet him.
Tyler has corresponded with her a few times since, more him writing to her than she writing to him. We took him back to the show again in July. We made sure to tell him that she probably wouldn’t remember him. She meets hundreds of people everyday and he’s just one kid she met 5 months ago. We didn’t tell Idina or Joby we were coming. She emerged from the stage door and signed autographs for the large crowd standing outside. As she got close to where we were standing, she glanced to her right and said “TYLER”. They chatted for a few minutes and she went on her way. We were absolutely shocked that she remembered him.
The next night, Tyler insisted on buying her flowers and telling her good bye. He spend his allowance on flowers and we went back to the stage door. She again signed lots of autographs, but wasn’t stopping for pictures. She noticed Tyler there. He said to her, “I wanted to thank you for making me feel so special. I have to go home tomorrow and I wanted to make sure I said good bye.” She grabbed him, hugged and kissed him. She said, “Tyler, you are a very special person to me and I will keep in touch with you.” She then asked my sister to take a picture of the two of them and make sure to send her a copy.
Needless to say, Tyler, as well as my sister and I, are very big Idina Menzel fans. We will follow her career wherever it takes her. She is a very special person.