Carrie said it, and now Idina is singing about it.
I saw If/Then with my Aunt last Thursday. First off, let me say that I don’t give two shits what you think about Idina Menzel. I don’t care if you hate Frozen (it’s definitely over-saturating every inch of life), and I don’t care if you have unrealistically high expectations for live performances, even though you probably curse autotune too. She is a goddess. Her voice is ridiculous. Her voice soars throughout the entire audience, bouncing off the back wall and smacking you in the face. Her presence is commanding. She kicks the ass of every current theatrical performer living today. Sorry, Sutton. Julie Andrews may be queen of my heart, but Idina Menzel is the queen of my soul.
Even if you dislike her for whatever dumbass reason, you’d have to admit that the premise of If/Then is pretty spectacular. Elizabeth returns to NYC after a decade of dullness and divorce in Phoenix. She’s offered two seemingly innocuous choices: stay and hang with her friend Kate, or go to a protest with her old BF Lucas. Elizabeth makes both of these choices in parallel universes, simultaneously becoming Liz and Beth, and we get to see the results of each. The show is seamless, transitioning from story to story using color (warm tones for Liz, blues for Beth), and strategically staged glasses.
One of the most fantastic songs in the show was the aptly named “What the Fuck?” I didn’t just like it because of the title/frequently used favorite curse word, but because it seamlessly wove between self-doubt and self-confidence and selfishness. My favorite belt-y ballad was “Always Starting Over,” the eleventh-hour number that doesn’t require crazy vocal gymnastics, but does require major acting chops. Oh, Idina. Curse you and your fantasticness.
Of course, one of the main questions is, “If you knew what would happen, would you do it all over again?”
Well, would you?
We’re supposed to say no regrets, or hell yeah!, but I don’t think the answer is so clear-cut. If I had the If/Then experience and could see both outcomes, I’d love to find out what would’ve happened if I sent my deposit to MSU instead of NYU. I might not be at my current job. The ex and I definitely would have broken up much sooner. I’d also have a fuckton of student loans, and may not be in the current condo-hunting position I’m in today. Would I have studied in Europe? Stayed in Disney? Made a whole host of other fantastic mistakes? Sure. Maybe Who knows. Unfortunately, my life is another musical (currently 9 to 5, hopefully someday An American in Paris), and I’ll never know.
Am I going to go back and think about every minor decision I’ve ever made, ever? Probably not. It’s still worth considering going forward. What do you do and not do? What do you think that’ll affect? Do you give a shit?