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Mica Ringo
10 followers -
Dog Photographer, Musical Theatre Fanatic, and Travel Hacker
Dog Photographer, Musical Theatre Fanatic, and Travel Hacker

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 If/Then Musical Review

Idina Menzel is back!! I couldn’t possibly wait until March for her new show to hit Broadway, so I bought a ticket for the previews at the National Theater in Washington DC. With an all start cast and creative team, my expectations were really high.

One word: WOW

This new show is everything I hoped it would be – a fresh concept that was totally engrossing and made me feel every emotion on the spectrum. I’ve been pining for something fresh after a slate of formulaic  and movie based musicals that have dominated Broadway recently and If/Then delivered in a major way. I never knew where the show was going (even when I thought I did!) and it kept me intellectually and emotionally engaged from start to finish.

I don’t want to give away any of the major plot points, but suffice it to say that this is the most complicated and ambitious book I’ve ever seen in a musical. In less accomplished hands, it could have easily become unwieldy, confusing or boring. It was none of those. The show moved quickly,  the score was fantastic and the cast sang their guts out. And did I mention that the show is funny? There were at least ten laugh out loud moments.  While I expect a few things to be trimmed for clarity before the Broadway debut, I think the show is 95% there.

I’ve never had the good fortune to see Idina live before. From the moment the spotlight hits her at the top of the show, she blew me away. Her vocals and acting were on point. Nobody can play a vulnerable, yet independent and powerful woman quite like she can. Plus, she looks amazing! Plus Anthony Rapp and LaChanze –need I say more?? I laughed, I cried, and I laughed again. I can’t wait to see it again.

 My only two nitpicks with the show are small. The choreography in the opening number seemed clunky and unnecessary. And throughout the show, there were several times where the ensemble felt more like props than actual people. I would have liked to see them incorporated in more lively ways, if possible (ala the “It’s a Sign” number).

 This show is going to be a major contender in this year’s Tony Awards! I predict best new musical, best score and best actress for Idina Menzel!
 
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