Writing about If/Then is something I’ve been tossing around in my mind for several days now. I saw it two weeks ago in (obviously) amazing seats and I love the cast, but I’m not sure what I thought about the show as a whole.
The show tells the story of a woman named Elizabeth (Menzel) who moves back to New York City after 10 yeas of living with her husband in Arizona and the two ways her life could’ve played out based on one decision in a park the day she returns. I’d heard that it was incredibly confusing in DC and I was sitting (by chance) next to a friend who’d seen it there but said the only difference was that in one of her “lifes” she would put on glasses. This definitely help make things a bit clearer, but things were still a bit confusing.
The score is beautiful and I could definitely relate to Elizabeth’s worrying and overanalyzing personality (unfortunately). Anthony Rapp as her best friend Lucas was wonderful, of course, but I don’t know if I believed that he was in love with Elizabeth. LaChanze brought down the house as per usual when she’s onstage as Elizabeth’s other best friend Kate. James Snyder (Menzel’s husband in one life, Josh) and Jerry Dixon (Menzel’s boss in the other life) were both lovely too.
The bit of confusion in the actual plot aside, I was left wondering why I should really care about Elizabeth. I knew both sides of the story, what was left to wonder? Her story didn’t end up being extraordinary either way. But one thing that I did like the fact that she ended up meeting Josh one way or another.
After seeing the show I learned that it was never meant to be your typical linear story but it was only changed to be that way after the confusion of average theatregoers (who’d probably have been happier watching My Fair Lady) down in DC. I’d love to listen to Kitt and Yorkey talk about writing this…
Anyways, if this review sparked your interest in the show, then you should definitely go see it.