Years ago, I was lucky enough to see Idina Menzel star as Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway and it was one of those magical indelible moments that I will never forget. That Voice. Defying Gravity. OMG it was truly amazing! Her voice is transcendent, spectacular and other-worldly. It’s unforgettable, powerful, and it makes you feel. And all these years later, I am happy to say that her voice and show-stopping presence on stage hasn’t changed one bit!
Last week, Broadway Superstar (and Tony Award Winner) Idina Menzel graced the Hollywood Pantages stage with her stellar talent in the National Tour of IF/THEN. Idina reprises her Broadway role in this musical for Los Angeles audiences alongside her original Broadway costars James Snyder (Cry-Baby), Anthony Rapp (RENT), and Tony Award winner La Chanze (The Color Purple).
IF/THEN is a contemporary new musical by the creators of Next to Normal (another one of my all time favorite Broadway shows!) about how we all reach crossroads in our lives and how the choices we make at each turn have a significant impact on the overall outcome of our lives. More specifically, IF/THEN follows two distinct storylines in the life of a woman who is a city planner and moves back to New York to restart her life in the city of infinite possibilities. When her carefully designed plans collide with twists of fate, this woman’s life splits into two parallel paths. IF/THEN follows both stories simultaneously as this modern woman faces the intersection of choice and chance.
I loved the creativity of the concept of this show: how if you go down one path your life turns out one way and if you make a slightly different choice, your life can turn out completely differently. However for me, Idina and her Broadway talented costars are really the highlight of this show. From her first note to the last song of the show, Idina gave me chills! She brought such heart and vocal power to her Liz/Beth characters that it sucked me in and took me on the emotional journey. It’s truly a gift to watch her work her magic onstage and even more fun to see her in a relatable strong female role with modern themes and costumes.
After a couple of notes, I instantly recognized the distinctive vocal chops of co-star Anthony Rapp from RENT on Broadway and it was great to see and hear him back in his element. La Chanze was also fab with her stage swagger and killer voice as was James Snyder with his strong voice and boyish charm. The ensemble really carried the show and drew you into the story with their top notch acting, voices and charisma. As a finicky theater-goer, it is always such a treat to see Broadway talent grace an LA stage because in my opinion, Broadway performances are a tough act to follow.
My bestie and I were completely mesmerized by Idina the entire night and really enjoyed discussing the themes of the show as well as the various outcomes of the storylines after we left. I always love a show that sparks post-theater conversation!
If you are looking for an entertaining musical to see this holiday season (for theater goers 12 and up) and love powerhouse singers like Idina Menzel, I definitely recommend getting tickets to see IF/THEN before it closes.
IF/THEN is playing now through January 3, 2016 at the Hollywood Pantages Theatre at
6233 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028. Individual ticket prices start at $25. For tickets or further information about IF/THEN, please visit the official website HERE.