A “What If?” for If/ Then

If/ Then will be dark from January 27 – February 1, while headliner Idina Menzel prepares to sing the national anthem at the upcoming Super Bowl. Even though I’m not in the area, I do hope it gets reconsidered and they take gamble on finding an alternate instead of taking a break as we’ll never know what kind of breakthrough that might just happen in that one week.

There are star-billed shows that successfully transitioned to their replacements and I believe this could have been an opportunity for them to test and see if bringing in a alternate would give new lease on the show, whether being able to extend the run, a theatre transfer, or a tour. Plus, it would have minimized losses during that week.


Successful ones like Cabaret and Hedwig and the Angry Inch relied more on A-listers but not only did it generate more interest, it also gained more following, as well, brought back a number of repeat audience.

But while it would be great to have an A-list name on the show’s marquee, Broadway heavy hitters such as Heather Headley, Sutton Foster, or Laura Benanti, to name a few, have a huge following and, I believe, can successfully turn it around for that week. Recognizable with their stage/ screen/ television cross-overs, they look like they share the same audience demographic the show is aimed at.

I understand that the above may be too late now, as the 27th is in a few days from now so it could have also been an opportunity for stand-by, Jackie Burns, or any of the understudies, to step into the spotlight and keep the show going for that week.

Now I’m pretty sure options have been looked into and what I wrote had been already considered, but there is a large pool of talent within the Broadway community that are deserving in filling in Ms. Menzel’s shoes, and again, who knows what bringing an alternate might do to the show.  It’s closing in a few weeks, so why not make the best out of it while it’s still playing?

4 responses to “A “What If?” for If/ Then

  1. Idina is the draw for the show THE only reason it has run for a year–Cabaret is closing because NO ONE would dare to take over Cummings role (as producers claim) and it was quite awhile after Gray’s award winning showing plus they put a ‘sleazier’ spin on his role and the show.
    There is talk about it going on tour but are thinking it will lose money unless it had an A list performer. In the ‘old days’ Mary Martin could do “Annie Get Your Gun” after Ethel Merman, “My Fair Lady” ran for a couple of years after Julie Andrews left because of the rave reviews for the show and the successful score. Just another example is “Stop The World”–without Tony Newley it died as a show and a movie.
    “If/Then” is a Menzel show being supported by Broadway people along with “Rent” and “Wicked” fans.
    Though a few followed her in the role why do you think it is so hard to get a “Funny Girl” revival production being identified so strongly with Streisand?
    By the way have you seen the show? :O)

    • Yeah there are the successful ones and the not so lucky ones but it would be good to take a gamble anyway for that one week – try to earn some instead of losing all for that week. It’s been done before so why not for this show?

      I haven’t seen the show and would love the opportunity to. Unfortunately with timing, I won’t be able to see this on Broadway but hopefully will be able to in another production. Cheers.

    • I just remembered: re: Cabaret. That’s sad they have to close the show because no one wants to take over Alan Cumming. Weren’t there a few actors who played the role after him successfully prior to the 2004 closing? If I remember correctly Neil Patrick Harris and Michael C. Hall (both Hedwigs, too!) were among the few. I just wish they could have found good replacements to keep the show going and achieve what the previous revival had.

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