Disclosure: I received tickets to If/Then as an opportunity through the Tampa Bay Bloggers and The Straz Center in exchange for a review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
If/Then is currently playing at the Straz Center in Tampa and I had the pleasure of seeing it opening night. I took my bestie Angie with me and it made for a great girls night out.
I knew about If/Then before seeing it as my sister-in-law Jenna saw it in New York City Idina Menzel in the lead. Clearly her favorite musical, Jenna shared much of if with me but very cleverly left out specifics.
I loved, loved, loved everything about If/Then. It is a fantastically written musical that looks at two possible life paths for Elizabeth, a recently divorced woman who had just moved back to New York City. Upon her return, she meets Kate at the park and runs into her old boyfriend from college, Lucas, and a new guy named Josh who just returned from overseas. In this very instant, there are two very different paths her life could take and this is brilliantly portrayed by Jackie Burns (Elizabeth), Anthony Rapp (Lucas), Matthew Hydzik (Josh), and Tamyra Gray (Kate). Does she go for an afternoon with Lucas, or does she hang out with Kate which leads her to meeting Josh? Elizabeth becomes Liz to Kate and Beth to Lucas.
As you see how very different her life could have been just from one choice, it really makes you think about the hundreds of choices we make every day and how our own lives could go in many different directions with each choice. For my own life… Had we not moved to Florida, I never would have met my husband. I can’t imagine not being with him but had that move not happened, where would I be? Had we not waited so long to try and have a baby, would it have gone another way? But if we didn’t go through what we did, would we know how strong we are? Every single choice you make affects your life from there on out.
If/Then is full of real emotion. The life of both Liz and Beth are parallel throughout. It is very fast moving but has a wonderful flow to it. Liz falls in love with Josh, get married, and has children. Beth focuses on her career as her old love Lucas wants to be more than friends. Time progresses for each and I felt every bit of emotion as she portrayed it. The choices that Liz / Beth make also drastically change the lives of those close to her…. Lucas, Josh, and Kate.
The music…. Oh, the music! Once again, all very real and raw, full of emotion. From What If? to Here I Go, and my three favorites What The F*ck?, You Don’t Need To Love Me, and Best Worst Mistake, you feel all the feels right along with Liz / Beth, Lucas, and everyone.
Here’s how it starts
And here’s how it ends
Two different hearts