Saturday November 9, 2013 / 8:00pmIf/Then
Mezzanine Sides (Rows H-J)
How was your experience?
The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly Let me get The Good out of the way first: I have wanted to see both Idina and Anthony Rapp on stage live for YEARS and I finally got my opportunity (thanks GOLDSTAR!). SHE did not disappoint - phenomenal voice. I just wish I had seen her in anything but this show (whoops the bad creeped in). Ok, more good: sets were interesting, the mirror above the cafe was visually stimulating ONLY when the ensemble danced, the use of the bridge/construction walk/boardwalk worked, the rotating stage during the bedroom/toothbrush scene made for a smooth transition (heard some gasps of delight from people who never saw a rotating stage before, helped me to get my AWE back for a flickering moment.) My favorite song WTF? was hilarious (but too short). LaChance turned in a great performance as the sassy lesbian kindergarten teacher. Her vocals are powerful. The Bad: Using the mirror for the 20-minute song about NYC maps was novel for the first 2 minutes, then it got distracting. This show runs 3 hours!!! Let me repeat that, this show runs 3 hours! It took an hour and half to get to intermission. Reworking the show to cut a LOT of extraneous songs, dialogue, scenes, planes, would help with the run time and the boredom. I hate to say it, but I didn't care what happened to any of the characters. I was not invested into what life or their own choices brought to them (that's a fatal error in a show all about life choices!!!). As others have said it was like watching RENT: The Midlife Crisis. The Ugly: The plot. Admittedly if I had not talked to a friend who saw it before me and gave me the head's up "think Sliding Doors" (the movie with Gwyneth Paltrow in 1998), I would have been completely and utterly lost. The device is by calling the Elizabeth character Beth (when she goes off with Anthony Rapp) vs. Liz when she goes off with LaChance is supposed to help keep the story lines straight. Well, yes, sort of - but after 3 hours of running a mental tally of things that happen to each character - I WAS EXHAUSTED. I don't mind shows that make me think and I come away "changed". I DO mind going to a show, mentally taxing me, and then never getting a good payoff. The end of the show was one of the MOST anti-climactic I've experienced. I am selfish in that I expect to be on my feet with thunderous applause because I've been incredibly moved - NOT because I adore the star (which I do). Takeaway: Go if you want to see Idina. Go if you want to say you saw it first. Go if you have incredibly strong buttocks.