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Idina Menzel wowed by local teen’s vocal gifts

Idina Menzel got quite the delightful surprise when she invited South Sider Ariana Burks, 15, to join her on stage Sunday night to sing along with “Take Me or Leave Me” from “Rent.”

It started when the Tony Award winner called out to her audience at her Pritzker Pavilion concert in Millennium Park — asking if anyone wanted to join her on stage to sing along. Of all the volunteers, she plucked Ariana from the crowd, not knowing the teen is something of a musical phenomenon in her own right.

Turns out Ms. Burks wowed both critics and audiences alike last spring when she played the lead role of Alice in Chicago Children’s Theatre’s world premiere musical, “Wonderland, Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure.”

Oh, by the way, Ariana “killed it” Sunday in her duet with Menzel.