If you love musicals, then you should see this! To me, there is nothing quite as magical as the theater. I remember seeing my first play and it was like a dream come true. A whole world of make believe, LIVE, and right in front of me. All my favorite books, characters, and movies came to life and dear God, don’t even get me started on the music!
It literally encompassed everything I loved and felt passionate about: stories, people, music, singing, dancing – theater was everything. It has been a love affair in my life for years. My first true love and when I’m on stage or back in an audience, I feel at home. (Not to mention I without fail, CRY! I don’t know why, it’s the music, the connection with the audience, I basically turn into an emotional wreck).
Though it’s a bit of a sensitive subject that I can’t balance work and being a self-sufficient adult with still performing on the side (the goal one day), I am still so happy when I get an opportunity to see a show so when one of my best friends called me and asked if I wanted to join her to see If/Then at the Orpheum, I jumped at the chance.
I would have been all over it regardless but there was one huge reason that made buying these tickets even more exciting and her name is Idina Menzel! (And if you’re John Travolta it’s Adele Nazeem- fool! I don’t get how you don’t know the Queen’s name!)
You may more commercially know her as Elsa’s voice in Frozen. I know her has the originator of Elphaba in Wicked and Maureen in Rent and a Broadway legend. I have seen her in concert but had yet to watch her grace the stage in her element in a musical.
It goes without saying that I loved it. Her voice is phenomenal and reduced me to tears a few times. It’s so much fun for me to see a play but of course, even more fun when I get to see a favorite (and my ultimate girl crush) in one.
As for the play itself, it was wild. I have never actually seen a show with such a premise. It was thoughtfully written, well-conducted, and expertly performed which is hard to do with such a complicated set-up.
Without giving anything away, it is about a woman who has two opportunities. If she takes one, her life will lead her in a different direction than if she chooses the other (obviously). So the theme of the show is “what if” which I found to be so amazing because it is such a haunting question that people ask themselves consistently. It’s hard not to wonder and this play is entirely a side by side show of what her life would have looked like if she picked either. So you see these alternate universes of her two choices be played out. It’s fascinating.
It explains how your choices you make not only affect you and your life but how it can change the lives of the people around you. We all play a part in our own lives as well as the lives of others and the people we love. Everything is a domino effect and seeing the subtle and large differences they created for the audience was beyond captivating.
There were successes, heartbreaks, joys, sadness, anger and basically mirrored the potential irony and unfairness of life. It questions and shows fate, kismet scenarios, and odds. It was also a very interesting to see a play where there weren’t big characters, these were people in modern day.
I also appreciated that it showed the “blooms, wilts and thorns” of life beyond your twenties. There is constant growing pains throughout our lives. We are always evolving and it was a reminder that our learning journeys don’t stop, we just hopefully gain more experience to better navigate them.
The storyline and the talent onstage was a perfect combination of theater bliss. If you live in San Francisco, please go see it. It is playing until early December. For tickets, click here. And if you do, please tell me what you felt about it! I love book club musical theater style!