If/Then had already been on Broadway for a month or so before I purchased tickets to see it. I didn’t wait because I wasn’t interested (because duh, Idina Menzel is in it and obviously I wanted to see her) but because I wanted to get the best deal for my tickets. This is something I always try to keep in mind – if I have the time to wait, I do because I find I get just as good seats for a better price, then I would if I bought them immediately and spent more. Sometimes you can also beat the crowds by waiting.
If/Then is in the Richards Rogers Theater on 46th street – a super nice theater, but fair warning it has a lot of stairs. I should know as I had to run up all of them to get to my seat in time . Word to the wise, arriving on time is a smarter idea than running a marathon up several flights. Despite the major workout I was super, super excited to see the show. Mostly because I have a slight (read:massive) obsession with Idina Menzel. She’s awesome. Not just because of her role in Wicked (I’ve listened to the soundtrack at least a bazillion times) and not just for her role as Elsa in Frozen…which I may have watched a couple times (only ten, nothing too crazy), but because she’s a wickedly talented person who is amazing even when she doesn’t sing (which is a crime because she’s awesome when she does).
The seats in the theater are also something I should warn you about. Although the theater is huge, the seats are very narrow and in order for one person to leave everyone has to get out of the row. It was still totally worth it for me because I got to see Idina Menzel perform live.
The storyline of If/Then follows a woman named Elizabeth who always wonders “what if”? Imagine if you had the most indecisive person in the world and they were allowed to live out all the different versions of their life. The essential “what if” question, like what if I’d arrive ten minutes earlier and then hadn’t run up the stairs? That’s the main premise of If/Then. Only…a little bit more complex. The show isn’t exactly Mary Poppins where you understand within the first five minutes that a nanny has come to save the day with her magical carpet bag and umbrella. It demands your attention or you miss…about everything.
It’s this semi-complicated premise that make the details in the show fabulous. So many tiny details that you might not catch the first time around. Elizabeth’s life and the life of all the other characters are played out in two versions of themselves. Here’s a hint to keeping track: when Idina plays Liz the background lighting is orange, and when she’s portrays Beth the background switches to blue. The supporting cast is fabulous– James Snyder gives you goosebumps when he opens his mouth to sing “Hey Kid”. Ryann Redmond is hilarious as the intern, and LaChanze sings one of my favorite songs (“No More Wasted Time). I can honestly go on forever praising this cast.
The show keeps you guessing the whole time, surprising you with twists and turns and I loved every twisting, turning second. Most importantly, with all the hype about Idina Menzel and her voice, you might think her performance couldn’t live up to the expectations– and that’s true…she exceeds them. I say this not just because I think she’s awesome but because her talent is simply awe-inspiring and there is nothing like seeing a singer of her caliber live. Personally, my favorite moment is when she sings the song “What If”.
What makes the show great is that it’s so relatable. No matter where you are in life; married, single, working or at a crossroads– Elizabeth’s variations and possibilities are endless and at least one scenario hits close to home with every person in the audience. I highly recommend If/Then. It’s a different kind of a musical, one that will make you stop, think, and appreciate what you have in your life.
Here’s a list of what you should keep in mind about If/Then should you decide you want to see it:
- Narrow seats.
- Stairs, lots of stairs.
- Children 12 and under are not allowed to see the show, even if they’re accompanied by an adult.
- Bathrooms are located only in the basement
- Full view from the mezzanine.
- Background color changes with each timeline
- Fabulous cast of characters
- Idina Menzel is awesome
- The lighting and staging of the show is amazing