Our final Shabbat Music Break Broadway Style recognizes one of my favourite theatre going experiences of the last two years. My infatuation with Idina Menzel is well-documented, but seeing her in this incredible production was stupefyingly mind-blowing. If/Then tells the story of Elizabeth, a 40-something who has moved back to New York following the breakup of her marriage. Her life is mapped out for her depending on the choices she makes and the people she meets. The play is a bit like the movie Sliding Doors starring Gwyneth Paltrow, in that it follows the same character on two distinct life paths that are dependent on the options presented. Ms Menzel is always a revelation, and the music has been perfectly tailored to her immense vocal talents. I tend to weep every single time I see her live. It's kind of a thing between her and me. If/Then has begun a national tour and will hit Toronto in the spring, and while Ms Menzel will not be in the cast, it is still an incredible theatre experience. It is not a show for the lazy theatre goer and it is not a show for those expecting big, brassy production numbers. It requires attention, thought, and perspective. It is very adult and very brilliant.
Here is the "11:00" number. I convulsed with tears.
Music: Tom Kitt
Lyrics: Brian Yorkey
Book: Brian Yorkey
Song: Always Starting Over