Idina Menzel’s Broadway show If/Then is closing on March 22nd. The show’s producers have opted not to renew Menzel’s contract which will end at that time.
The show, which premiered on March 4th 2013, is about a woman named Elizabeth (Menzel) a city planner who rebuilds her life in New York City where she finds a world of infinite possibilities. The musical was written by Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal writers Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey.
Producer David Stone told Billboard, “Working on If/Then over the past several years has been one of the most professionally satisfying and personally fulfilling experiences of my career. I am extremely proud of this musical, the entire creative team and cast, and the remarkable work they have done in bringing this story to life. We all look forward to sharing it with audiences for the next ten weeks.”
While Menzels’ performance was well received, the critics generally panned the play.
Variety said, “helmer Michael Greif (“Rent, ” “Next to Normal”) clearly had his hands full trying to imprint some distinguishing marks on Elizabeth’s generically stereotyped friends. And he gets absolutely no help in that department from the robotic movements supplied by choreographer Larry Keigwin.”
The Hollywood Reporter said, “while it’s sweet and sincere, this is also a banal show about uninteresting people that strings together weary platitudes in place of a plot. Or make that two demi-plots. Lifting its inspiration from movies like the tedious Gwyneth Paltrow romantic comedy Sliding Doors, this musical about fate, choice, possibility and divergent paths asks how a split-second, random decision can reshape the course of a life. And it asks that question again and again and again, with the blunt insistency of a mallet.”
And the New York Daily News said, “What-if ideas can be gold mines. ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ imagined one man’s impact on many lives. But Elizabeth’s musings are uninteresting and don’t add up to much impact. She’s no George Bailey, whose entire town would collapse if he’d never been born.
When the chow closes it will have had 401 performances.”