If/Then- Watch it for Idina

It’s hard to say how well If/Then would have done, if Idina Menzel had not been a part of the cast. Menzel’s return to Broadway, after a whole decade, was highly speculated. Her fans are certainly going to be pleased about her return, and her performance in the musical. It seems like a wonderful follow up to the “Let It Go” craze, that just does not die down. But, here’s the million dollar question- what if Menzel was not in If/Then?   This might seem too harsh, but If/Then would not be a show worthy of Broadway if it had not been for it’s star cast. The characters are rather insipid and colorless, and they fail to make up for the lack of a plot. A musical about destiny, choices and possibilities can be without a plot- as long as the characters are strong enough to carry the burden on their backs. However, this musical fails on both the fronts.   Menzel shines as the middle aged urban planner who cannot decide whether strategy is better than impulse. Broadway is all about showcasing dilemmas and the pain of choices, but the choices depicted in the musical are not nearly emotionally charged enough to make an impact on the audience.     Tom Kitt, who scored the music, has done a wonderful job. Brian Yorkey and Michael Greif, who handled the story and direction, respectively, could have certainly done a better job. The stage setting was done beautifully- it was a wonderful interpretation of New York’s urban landscape.   Bottom line? If you have been a devoted Wicked fan all your life, go watch If/Then. It’s wonderful seeing Menzel back on stage. If you are still not convinced, just watch Wicked and swoon over Menzel’s beautiful performance....

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Broadway’s newest sweetheart?

Broadway’s newest sweetheart?

  When Wicked premiered in 2003, nobody expected the kind of dedicated fan-following it would develop. These fans are so dedicated that they patiently waited for a decade, for their Elpheba to make her return to Broadway. Except, a lot had changed in the mean time. Idina Menzel had come a long way, what with an Academy Award and all the fame that goes along with it.   Idina Menzel’s fame has a lot to do with “Let It Go”, the song that won her an Oscar, and the song that people will just not stop covering. Menzel’s Oscar fame might have had something to do with the fact that John Travolta could not pronounce her name. She has taken that in her stride though- claiming that Travolta’s name flub just made people talk about her more, which she is glad about.   “Let it Go” is certainly one of Menzel’s best. Long-time fans of her’s would recognize the fact that it sounds a lot like “Defying Gravity”, one of her songs as Elpheba from Wicked. Frozen shot Menzel to new levels of fame- a feat she is extremely proud of. Menzel believes that as a woman, she is always racing against time, and achieving fame as a 40 year old woman is something that one should be proud of. Menzel returned to Broadway after a whole decade, playing the lead in If/Then, a musical about choices and possibilities. The musical managed to cross the much cherished mark in the box-office and stands a chance of getting nominated for the Tonys as well. Even though the play was panned by the critics, Menzel received positive feedback.   It certainly looks like Idina Menzel is back in the game and is here to stay. Broadway will never be the same....

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