Posts Categorized: If/Then

If/Then Reviews

If/Then Reviews – This is Your Warning!

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If/Then Reviews

If/Then Reviews

At Miss Saigon I cried, Phantom I cried and at If/Then I cried.  I didn’t cry at Les Mis, Fiddler or other shows, but before you think this is going to be one of the positive If/Then reviews, think again.  Yes, the show made me cry and yes I loved the music so normally I would do positive reviews of If/Then the Musical starring Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp.  The show actually was amazing, but before I recommend it, please read this post so you can know what to expect and if you should buy tickets for If/Then the Musical.

Idina does an amazing job and Anthony Rapp does as well.  LaChanze is incredible and the talent is not lacking with the supporting cast.  The funny thing is that it is basically a grown up version of Rent the Musical which both Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp were both in.  In this one he goes gay while she stays straight, but he is still an activist and she remains both sided just like in Rent.  Instead of a cow jumping over the moon, she belts out a song under the stars.  The show is literally a grown up or sequel fun alternative to the hit broadway show Rent.  Again, my If/Then reviews are still not positive because even if you are a Rent head, you need to be warned.

The show is amazing and you will love it…if you can get through the two major flaws that I hope they fix before If/Then the musical goes to NY.  If they don’t fix these two issues, then the If/Then reviews are not going to be so good.  The first issue is that the entire first act is wayyyy….tooooo….long.  It is like you are listening too the same exact song and scene over and over and over and you want to kill yourself.  The music is great and the acting is wonderful, but they could easily cut out 30 minutes and the show would be perfect.  The second act of If/Then the Musical was amazing and the time was exactly where it should have been.  By cutting down the first act of If/Then the musical, when it hits NYC, the If/Then reviews will probably be a lot better than what will happen if they don’t shorten it.  Then there is the next issue, the staging.

If/Then the musical constantly changes back and forth from when Idina Menzel’s character is younger and older.  She changes jackets to let you know and they call her Liz when she’s older and Beth when she’s younger in If/Then the musical.  Unfortunately the changes happen too fast and on at least half of them you cannot tell if it is in the past or not.  She sleeps with Lucas (Anthony Rapp) but it was actually her husband (I won’t spoil it for you).  The worst is at the very end when she meets her true love, and you don’t know if it’s a different scenario from the past or if it is her starting new.  You assume it is her in the past but you hope it is new.  If they could shine a different colored light on her for the present Liz or a different color for the past Beth that would help a lot.  In Jekyll and Hyde the main character pulls his hair back when he’s normal and lets it flow out when he is the evil Mr. Hyde.  Even doing that with the older Liz having flowing hair or pulled back hair and the younger Beth the opposite would let you know.  It gets way too confusing and not a single person we talked to could follow along.  If they could fix this and fix the first act by cutting it down then our If/Then reviews would be amazing and we would love it.

If/Then the musical

If/Then the musical

With that said, I highly recommend you buy tickets for If/Then the Musical.  You can buy tickets for If/Then on sale by clicking through to our tickets vendor page on the link above or click on the banner on the side of this blog that says buy half price or discount tickets.  They have most shows with half price tickets for If/Then the musical on sale still.  Even with a long first act and bad staging so you cannot tell whether or not they are in the past or present during If/Then the Musical, our If/Then reviews are amazing.  If/Then the musical gets 4 out of 5 stars and close to 4 and a half.  It takes a lot to get me and a lot of my friends to cry and this show did it.  If they cut down the time in the first act and make it more clear, our If/Then the musical reviews would have been a definite 4 out of 5 stars and I highly recommend you go see it!

Idina Menzel is Coming Back to Broadway with If/Then the Musical

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Idina Menzel is an idol in the world of musicals, and (even as a pre-teen) I was very distraught at the thought of never getting to see her perform live when she retired from touring shows in 2004 and took to working on television. Well, ladies and gentlemen, I am pleased to announce that Idina Menzel is finally returning to Broadway!

After her 10 year sabbatical, Idina Menzel is coming back to NYC to take the lead role in an all new production called If/Then.

Her career kicked off with Rent in 1996, moved on to Aida for a while with the role of Amneris and left the bright lights of Broadway after the tour of Wicked in 2004 after she cracked a rib falling through a trapdoor on the second to last performance. Since she left she has appeared in films and TV shows like Rent, Enchanted, Glee, is currently working on Disney’s newest animated musical, Frozen. She will be playing the voice of Elsa the Snow Queen.

In case you didn’t know, Idina is married to Taye Diggs who was in both the Broadway and film version of Rent as Benjamin Coffin III. I recently read in People that they have opened a performing arts camp for underprivileged girls, where she and her husband personally work with the girls.

Mrs. Menzel has been a very busy woman and it is obvious that she wouldn’t return to Broadway for just anything.

This should be an extremely promising production. She will be working again with director Michael Greif who started her career in Rent, producer David Stone who worked with her in Wicked and working with, for the first time, Brian York and Tom Kitt who wrote the music for both If/Then and Next to Normal. Tom Kitt wrote music for Bring It On: The Musical, American Idiot, Hair and High Fidelity. She will also be joined by LaChanze who won a Tony for her performance in The Color Purple. LaChanze will be playing the role of Kate.

In If/Then, Idina will play a character named Elizabeth who is on the verge of turning 40. As a chance for a fresh start and a new life, Elizabeth moves to New York. She meets Kate who is a new neighbor to Elizabeth and an elementary school teacher. Despite Elizabeth’s attempts to have a perfectly planned out life, the most random occurrences and tiny decisions will impact her life in ways she’s never dreamt possible. Producers say that this is an original, romantic new show about how “choice and chance collide and how we learn to love the fallout”.

There is one song from If/Then available at this point, sung by Idina Menzel, called ‘Learn to Live Without’ which has a different sound to it than I was expecting. It has an earthy feel to it. Seeing it in context to the show should be very moving indeed.

The pre-Broadway premiere will be at the National Theatre in Washington, DC November 5th through December 8th and will officially hit Broadway March 4th.  (I’ll be doing a post about tickets and how to find tickets to this show on sale once I have everything finished.)

For those of you who have not had the privilege of hearing her perform, my favorite performance by her is from Wicked. It is a duet between her and her friend Galinda. The two of them started off despising each other and throughout the story they overcome their differences and a strong bond is built. I took my little sister to see Wicked a couple years ago after we found out she had cervical cancer and we have an exceptional affinity with this song. It is called For Good.

About the Author: Laura Bensen is a freelance writer with a passion for musicals. She spends her free time singing her heart out (when the house is empty) and searching for meaningful connections.