IF/THEN -- Survey Says...

LimelightMike
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 5/31/14 at 10:20pm
Greetings, all!

I come to you with another question. This time, about IF/THEN.

Do I spend the (discounted) ticket price, or not?

Is it worth it to go to the Rodgers for this?

I'm VERY torn.

I honestly don't know WHAT to make of this one...

Best,
- M
LimelightMike's 2010-2011 Theatergoing Schedule: THE PITMEN PAINTERS (10.03.10) A LIFE IN THE THEATRE (10.10.10) BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (10.16.10) THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (11.06.10) WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (11.13.10) BRIEF ENCOUNTER (11.22.10) THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW (11.28.10) LA BETE (12.23.10) A SMALL FIRE (01.13.11) THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON (03.09.11) ARCADIA (03.16.11) BLACK TIE (03.19.11) PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT (03.21.11) THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (03.26.11) BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO (03.30.11) GHETTO KLOWN (03.31.11) HOW TO SUCCEED... (04.07.11) ANYTHING GOES (04.12.11) JERUSALEM (04.20.11) SISTER ACT (04.29.11) iHO: (05.22.11)
jnb9872
Broadway Legend
joined:11/24/08
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 5/31/14 at 10:26pm
I saw it and I don't know what to make of it either. I can't endorse the decision to see it, unless you have the expendable cash and time to see something that tries something different and mostly fails to be successful or interesting. But it's trying, I guess. I just wish it had tried to be something good instead of something new, because it's not as new as it thinks it is.
Words don't deserve that kind of malarkey. They're innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they're no good anymore…I don't think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.
Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 5/31/14 at 10:32pm
Not a perfect show but it's trying to do something very ambitious on the broadway musical stage, and for that should be applauded. Challenging concept carried out in script, score, performances (especially LaChanze) and some dynamite staging. I wish I had liked the songs better, but that didn't stop me from chewing on the material for days afterward, and in a good way. And for Pete's sake, at least it's an ORIGINAL idea with an ORIGINAL score. That alone deserves bravos and butts in the seats. I'd suggest getting orchestra seats rather than mezz where we sat, just to fully appreciate the magical effects created by the turntable and overhead mirror unit. Enjoy!
adam.peterson44
Broadway Star
joined:9/7/11
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 5/31/14 at 11:07pm
I love the score, and the book is very funny. I have been listening to the cast recording non-stop for several days now since it started streaming on usatoday.com. All of the performances are stellar.
Sauja
Broadway Star
joined:1/7/07
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 5/31/14 at 11:11pm
It was the least enjoyable night I had in a Broadway theater this year. It didn't even have the benefit of being so bad that it entertained that way (hey, Soul Doctor). Menzel is doing great work, but the show itself is a disaster, every song says the same thing, the book is an overstuffed bag of cliches, and the physical production is an eyesore. Don't bother. Forget the money; save your TIME.
I started a blog! Cause I'm a nerd. http://100showsayear.blogspot.com/
jnb9872
Broadway Legend
joined:11/24/08
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 5/31/14 at 11:19pm
"And for Pete's sake, at least it's an ORIGINAL idea with an ORIGINAL score. That alone deserves bravos and butts in the seats."

-No, it doesn't. For one, the idea isn't original. Anyone I've mentioned the show too goes, "oh, the one that's like SLIDING DOORS: THE MUSICAL?" And that's hardly the first time the device had been used. Anyways. More to the point: I must push back against anyone fetishizing the 'original musical' as innately superior because it's original. It's great that they can put on a show without a recognizable name brand or franchise or songbook, truly it's wonderful. But it would have been leagues better if they could have put on a GOOD show.
Words don't deserve that kind of malarkey. They're innocent, neutral, precise, standing for this, describing that, meaning the other, so if you look after them you can build bridges across incomprehension and chaos. But when they get their corners knocked off, they're no good anymore…I don't think writers are sacred, but words are. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.
rjm516
Broadway Star
joined:6/24/09
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 5/31/14 at 11:24pm
I saw it last night. In one scene, Idina is talking seriously to another character while putting a cardigan on. She couldn't get the sweater on and it was hilarious and the whole audience was laughing with her and she had to take a few minutes to regain composure.

That was the best part by far...
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 5/31/14 at 11:52pm
As you can tell, this show has no middle ground. People love it or hate it. I haven't figured out what makes someone end up on one side or the other. I ended up on the side that enjoyed it a lot, after seeing it in DC, in previews, and since it opened. Idina is doing great work here. The cast is great, and I love the music.

I'd check out the music that has been posted and maybe use that to see if you have something to latch on to?
formerly oasisjeff on here.
brdway411
Broadway Star
joined:2/24/14
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 12:10am
Unless you REALLY LIKE the cast, I would say pass on this. That is all I am going to say about it.
Cupid Boy2
Understudy
joined:1/5/13
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 12:18am
Though it seems I'm in the minority, put me in the camp that loved it. I saw it today, and I adored it from start to finish. While many complained that it was difficult to follow, I went in with a basic understanding of the structure of the show and had no issues keeping up with the plot.

I'll concede that If/Then is certainly no masterpiece, but it features a really great cast and some clever staging. There's also some real gems in the score. Given it seems that you're at the very least slightly curious about it, I would recommend it.
EMeraldNYC2
Chorus Member
joined:1/12/14
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 12:37am
I'm definitely in the "loved it" category as well. I had a wonderful evening at this show. Admittedly I am a huge fan of Idina Menzel, I went into this show with an open mind since the reviews were so mixed. The plot is very fast-paced and you have to pay attention to detail, but I enjoyed having to use my brain a little during it. It's refreshing to see a show focused less on a black-and-white story and more on a universal message. Plus the score is incredible, especially how it is so seemlessly woven into the show alongside the book.

I think it's a great production. Everyone in my group of four loved it, and we're still talking about it a week later. A POWERHOUSE cast that brings the house down with a gorgeous score, plus a rapidly moving story that opens itself up to interpretation by the viewers. It's different, that's for sure. But it's a well-put-together show that I would love to see again and again.
Bettyboy72
Broadway Legend
joined:3/31/06
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 12:38am
It's quite awful. The talent involved is what got this tripe fast tracked to Broadway. Book is laughable (not original, as some pine) and the score is so banal. People are here for the Idina show. She is treated like a rock star by the audience and rightfully so. You are better off paying top dollar once she tours once she leaves this mess. Idina is spectacular-she deserves far better. Rapp is along for the ride-he gets the best song.
"The sexual energy between the mother and son really concerns me!"-random woman behind me at Next to Normal "I want to meet him after and bang him!"-random woman who exposed her breasts at Rock of Ages, referring to James Carpinello
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 12:40am
I unequivocally loved every damn second of this show. I would definitely recommend seeing this. There was never a dull moment, and I was completely caught up in the story. Idina Menzel is really really great, and seeing her sing Always Starting Over live is reason enough to see this live.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
BroadwayGirl107
Broadway Legend
joined:8/26/03
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 01:22am
If you like Idina Menzel's work at all, go. She's spectacular. Most people I know who didn't like the show were happy they went to see her. I personally loved the show---I can't disagree with some of the criticisms but the material spoke to me, and I was very moved.
"This country, this experiment, America, this hubris: what a lament if no one saw it go. Here today, gone tomorrow. Dissipation is actually much worse than cataclysm."--August: Osage County
TheaterGal3
Swing
joined:5/17/14
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 01:31am
Add me to the list of those who love the show. I admit the reviews had me worried, but I came out of theater having loved every second of the show. I'm not sure why the critics were so confused? Maybe knowing I needed to pay attention going in was why I didn't have any problems with any part of the show. There were three other people in my group and we all loved it. I plan on going back to see it. If you buy the discounted seats you will still have a good enough seat. We were in the top mezzanine and didn't feel like we missed any part of the show. That being said, I would like to get better seats next time just to see what the mirror and all of the staging looks like from a lower section.
A few days after the show and my friends and I were out to dinner and started discussing the show. It definitely gets into your head (even more so than the movie Sliding Doors). I spent last week at work streaming the songs on USA Today's site and will purchase the music next week.

Yes, I say it's worth it.
Someone in a Tree2
Broadway Star
joined:10/9/12
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 01:58am
"As you can tell, this show has no middle ground. People love it or hate it."

Sorry, haterobics, but I totally disagree with your claim. As I stated above, this show tries and tries to be a better show than it actually is. But for me, the attempt alone is to be heralded. A firm B grade, which easily beats the D- grade I'd give to Bullets Over Broadway or Rocky. (I'd give Gentlemen's Guide and After Midnight B+'s, Bridges an A, and apologies to Violet, Alladin and Beautiful which I haven't seen yet.)
LimelightMike
Broadway Legend
joined:6/21/06
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 02:13am
I appreciate all of this feedback, you guys!

Any preference as to whether front row is worth my while?
LimelightMike's 2010-2011 Theatergoing Schedule: THE PITMEN PAINTERS (10.03.10) A LIFE IN THE THEATRE (10.10.10) BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON (10.16.10) THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS (11.06.10) WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (11.13.10) BRIEF ENCOUNTER (11.22.10) THE PEE-WEE HERMAN SHOW (11.28.10) LA BETE (12.23.10) A SMALL FIRE (01.13.11) THAT CHAMPIONSHIP SEASON (03.09.11) ARCADIA (03.16.11) BLACK TIE (03.19.11) PRISCILLA: QUEEN OF THE DESERT (03.21.11) THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST (03.26.11) BENGAL TIGER AT THE BAGHDAD ZOO (03.30.11) GHETTO KLOWN (03.31.11) HOW TO SUCCEED... (04.07.11) ANYTHING GOES (04.12.11) JERUSALEM (04.20.11) SISTER ACT (04.29.11) iHO: (05.22.11)
qolbinau
Broadway Legend
joined:6/29/08
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 02:27am
I sat second row and although it is very close in terms of taking it all in, I think you will be much more engaged with the story if you sit close.
DramaTeach
Stand-by
joined:3/17/13
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 07:54am
Not a fan. Skip it.
phantomcrazy14
Featured Actor
joined:2/5/10
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 08:09am
I didn't like it. It picked up and the secondary was better, but I really did not enjoy this show. I appreciate the concept, but I was bored by the music, which all sounded the same after awhile. I don't know if I saw the show on an "off day", which I feel shouldn't happen, but the cast appeared very bored and almost lazy in the choreo and singing. And I don't know if LaChanze was sick, but her voice sounded shot. Overall I was very disappointed.
uncageg
Broadway Legend
joined:5/13/04
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 08:33am
I enjoyed it and hope to see it again. We are so used to going into a show either already knowing the story or the music or both. So I guess that part of our brain doesn' t have to work so hard! It was nice to see something completely original where you had to pay attention to the story, the music amd lyrics. I was actually humming a few of the songs at intermission. I left the theater a bit elated.

I missed Bridges and will not pay to see Beautiful but for me, it was good enough to be nominated over any jukebox musical. If I want to hear Carol King or Four Seasons music, I will put on the albums or cds. I already know most of their life stories but will buy their books if I want to know more. It' s cheaper.

So, I say go. I sat in the front mezz (a loser's lottery ticket for fifty bucks) and had a great view of everything. The effects with the big mirror we're really cool up there.

Just give the world Love.
Updated On: 6/1/14 at 08:33 AM
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 10:12am
Front row is pretty close, especially when Idina comes close to the edge of the stage for her big song, but on the flip side, Idina is standing right above you for her big song, if that has any draw. A few rows back is better.
formerly oasisjeff on here.
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 11:59am
And for Pete's sake, at least it's an ORIGINAL idea with an ORIGINAL score. That alone deserves bravos and butts in the seats.

That sort of thinking always makes me laugh. Originality has nothing to do with the quality of the book, score, staging, direction, design or performances. I don't know why anyone would think an original book musical should get a free pass.

I enjoyed aspects of the show. Idina is radiant and La Chanze very nearly runs away with the show. I loved the sets and the staging. But I was never really engaged in the story and I found most of the score flat and unmemorable. I'm always baffled when I hear the show described as "brave". It makes no sense. There is nothing particularly brave about the show at all except that they got Idina to do it and so far, her participation has paid off.

The structure is similar to Sliding Doors and if the two story lines had been extracted and placed in each act, then it would have been like London's best musical winner, Our House. I found If/Then to be a somewhat disappointing step down from Next to Normal. Hell, I even saw a small local production of High Fidelity I enjoyed more. I didn't think it was a "bad" show, just the least enjoyable show I saw on this particular visit to NYC.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
uncageg
Broadway Legend
joined:5/13/04
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 12:08pm
Matt, I think tose words brave and ambitious are used because of what I mentioned about going into a show knowing the story and/or the music. If it is brave it is because it forces an audience to pay attention.

Speaking of Next To Normal, I did and do not like the music outside of hearing it performed in the show. I do like if/ then's score enough to see it again and buy the recording. JMO

Just give the world Love.
Updated On: 6/1/14 at 12:08 PM
theatre-is-life
Swing
joined:2/15/14
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 12:32pm
I am also one of those people who actually really enjoyed the show. I was challenge by the plot and made to pay attention. The score is actually really amazing and I've been obsessed with it ever since. There are some things that could have maybe been done better within the show; however, I found the overall production of the show well worth the money. I'm an Idina fan but I would have liked it even if she wasn't in it. Personally, I would suggest to go see it.
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
IF/THEN -- Survey Says...
Posted: 6/1/14 at 02:55pm
"As you can tell, this show has no middle ground. People love it or hate it."

I was very meh about it, there were a lot of parts I did not like, but did enjoy a few things about it. I think it's safe to say people have a lot of strong opinions about it :)
nomore.org

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