Monday, February 29, 2016

Review of If/Then (Broadway in Chicago)

Once upon a time I went to a show and it was called If/Then. The music was by Tom Kitt and the book and lyrics were by Brian Yorkey. It was directed by Michael Greif. It was about a woman named Elizabeth (Jackie Burns) who had been through a divorce and had moved to New York City to try and follow her dreams. And she took two paths, but you can really kind of decide which path she actually took. It is two different stories, so you see how if she had done one thing another thing wouldn't have happened. Her name is still Elizabeth but she is called Liz in one world and Beth in the other. It is about love, loneliness, and friendship. I thought this was a fun show. There were a lot of scenes, songs, and lines that I enjoyed.

I liked the Liz storyline a lot better than the Beth storyline because Liz just seems to have a much happier life for awhile. She finds love with Josh (Matthew Hydzik), even if the love doesn't work out forever. And in life love hardly ever works out forever, because somebody usually dies first; people don't usually die at the exact same moment as their love. The thing that is important to Beth is having a good job and the thing that is important to Liz is having a good family and having good relationships with people. And I think in Liz's life almost everyone around her is happier than they are in Beth's life. But I don't think that everybody will think the same way as I do. I think the writers are trying to say that no matter what you do, you can't make your life perfect. That is just sadly impossible. That is what I think both Beth and Liz are trying to do, but things go wrong in both their lives and it is heartbreaking to watch. I thought the woman who played Elizabeth had an amazing voice. It was very strong and beautiful, and I really loved her singing.

Kate (Tamyra Gray) and Anne (Janine DiVita) were an adorable couple. But they had a happier life in Beth's world which was different from the rest of the people. In Liz's world Kate divorces Anne but in Beth's world they stay happy and married. Kate and Anne seem to make each other laugh a lot, which I think is very sweet. I thought Kate seemed very open and funny. She was Elizabeth's neighbor in both worlds. She is a kindergarten teacher and she has very different views about what should be taught in schools than some teachers, but I agree with her that schools should be more feminist and study more about women's stories. And I think it is okay for teachers to swear outside the classroom as long as they don't swear openly in front of students. You can't tell a teacher what to do outside of their job!

Lucas (Anthony Rapp) and David (Marc delaCruz) might have been my favorite of all of the couples in the history of this show. They were just so cute and they seemed like they were so happy, but they only know each other in Liz's world, which is another reason why I like Liz's world so much. There is a song called "Best Worst Mistake" which is all about even if you are worried about doing something wrong in a relationship, you have to try it out to find out if it is a bad idea. I also found that entire scene very touching and cute because you were basically watching two people decide to adopt a kid and spend their lives together. It seemed like David is kind of the all-in one and he really wants to get the relationship going and serious. But Lucas is kind of scared and that is what is happening in that scene.

People who would like this show are people who like amazing singing, different paths, and best worst mistakes. I think people should go see this show. It was super fun and a really interesting story and I was really engaged.

Photos: Joan Marcus

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