I love Broadway. I have been a fan of musicals since high school when I was in stage crew. I was never one to think I could be on stage, but the behind the scenes aspect was always captivating to me. I also give a lot of credit to actors who can sing and dance day after day for audiences.
My favorite show is Rent. I saw it multiple times on Broadway and just fell in love with the story (especially the back story of Jonathan Larson) and the actors themselves. Most of the actors in the original show have gone on to be famous on the stage as well as on the screen. One such actress was Idina Menzel. You might know her now from a little movie she did called Frozen.
Last year a new musical debuted on Broadway called If/Then starring Idina Menzel. My favorite Rent alum, Anthony Rapp, was also in the cast. At the time ticket prices were a little insane so I didn’t really think to go see it.
A few weeks ago my friend Erin sent me a coupon code for tickets since the show was closing. She wanted to see it so we made a date for Sunday, March 8th.
We had been in Philly on Saturday so we picked Erin up and drove her back with us. We drove into the city for the show and parked near the theatre. As we were walking to the theatre we saw a huge line of people, which is not uncommon. What we were hearing was uncommon. We heard a lot of yelling and angry voices. When we got to the theatre we were told that Idina was sick and would not be performing. Seeing as she was the only reason we wanted to see the show we were bummed.
When a specific actor is on a marquee you have the option to change your tickets if they are not at a performance. We waited on the very long line to see what other dates they had available.
Luckily they had seats near our original ones on the following Sunday. We took those and then wandered around the city for a little before heading home.
The following Sunday we met Erin in Secaucus and took the train into the city. We walked anxiously to the theatre, hoping Idina would be there.
She was! Happy faces!
Cheryl and I were also ecstatic to know that Anthony Rapp was still in the cast. For some reason I thought he had left, but he was there!
The show was absolutely amazing! It really made me sit and think about all the choices I have made in my life and what would be different had I chosen something else.
The story is about a 38-year-old woman named Elizabeth (Idina Menzel) who moves back to New York City after getting divorced. She meets up with an old college friend, Lucas (Anthony Rapp) and a new friend from her building, Kate (LaChanze) in Madison Square Park. Kate suggests she start calling herself “Liz” while Lucas suggests “Beth”. Both of them ask her to go with them. Kate wants Liz to stay in the park and watch a musician. Lucas wants Beth to go with him to a rally. Elizabeth has to choose what to do and that choice changes her life in many ways.
From this point the rest of the show is broken into two story lines.
She stayed in the park to watch a musician. She misses a phone call over the noise and also runs into a returned Army doctor Josh (James Snyder). She brushes him off, but later sees him again on the subway. Even though Kate tells her it’s fate she disregards him until she meets him one last time back in the park. Liz gets in touch with an old friend who had a position for her, but it was filled. He suggests she get a teaching job. Josh introduces Lucas to a friend David and they become a couple. Liz gets pregnant and her and Josh get married. They have two sons and then Josh is sent overseas (after deferring for a tour) and is killed. Liz relies heavily on Kate and Lucas after to help her through the sadness. Lucas and David eventually adopt a son and in the end Stephen approaches Kate to work for City Planning….
She goes with Lucas to a rally. On the way she gets a phone call from Stephen. He offers her a job with City Planning. She gets the job and starts working closely with Stephen (who is married). She winds up kissing Stephen, but he rejects her because of his family. She winds up sleeping with Lucas and getting pregnant. She doesn’t tell Lucas until after she has an abortion. Because of that her and Lucas do not talk for two years. Beth becomes consumed by her work and rises to the top of her company. Stephen, who is now divorced, asks Beth to take a position in the state government. She turns him down. Later she meets Kate and Lucas for coffee in the park and is approached by Josh who has just returned from him third tour of duty….
The entire show really makes you step back and take a look at your life. What if I had gone to a different college, or accepted a different job. Your life could be completely different than it is now.
The music from the show is amazing and I was so fortunate to see it with Idina Menzel and Anthony Rapp. The show itself was pretty hysterical. There were a few “problems” that sent the cast into fits of laughter and an incident with a yellow bench that had me almost crying I was laughing so hard. It’s nice to see people on stage that can just go with the flow and not let issues take the whole performance down. The entire cast was amazing.
I would recommend anyone who is interested to see it if it comes through your area!
Do you wonder “what if”?