Photos by Joan Marcus
If/Then centers on Elizabeth (Jackie Burns), who has just ended a long relationship and moves back to New York to start over. The show begins with her asking the audience/universe what would have happened if she had not been in a specific place and time when she was. How would her life have been different? At that point she meets her old friend Lucas (original Broadway cast member Anthony Rapp), as well as her neighbor Kate (Tamyra Gray). Lucas knows her as Elizabeth, Kate knows her as Liz, and Elizabeth thinks, Why not? Why not be Liz? Why not be Beth? From there, we explore the lives of Liz, who ignores a phone call, and Beth, who answers it. The two stories play out in alternating scenes, sometimes making a switch mid-scene.
Since the same people populate both Liz's and Beth's lives, the question is how to show which life is which? A number of signifiers were used - Liz sometimes wears glasses - and the colors of the light changed for each story. (Note: KRL noticed the lights, Jules missed them altogether!)
|National tour cast of IF/THEN|
|Jackie Burns and Matthew Hydzik.|
The rest of the ensemble was stellar as well. Between their dance and actions and the projections, they made the stage pulse with the energy of the city. And we appreciated the way the hard-working cast made the scene changes fly by. Although the show runs about 2 hours and 45 minutes, it doesn't feel that long, as it moves at a great pace. The music kept things moving, and the songs served up character development, sometimes for both versions of a character in the same song!
|Tamyra Gray, Jackie Burns and Anthony Rapp|
If/Then plays at the Orpheum through March 13, 2016.
If you go, bring along a little extra cash. This week is the annual BC/EFA (Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS) appeal, and cast members will be collecting in the lobby for this very good cause.
(co-written by KRL and Jules)