Musical review: ‘If/Then’ is a great new love story at Detroit’s Fisher Theatre

If/Then Jackie Burns

DETROIT — My husband and I attended the opening of “If/Then,” a new musical, on March 29 at the Fisher Theatre in Detroit.  It was refreshing to see this contemporary musical as opposed to the classic ones which have been around for years.  “If/Then” on Broadway in March 2014.  The National tour began in 2015 in Denver.

Act one takes place in Madison Square Park where Elizabeth (Jackie Burns) was at the park listening to a guitar player. Elizabeth is 40 years old and moved from Phoenix to New York City to find the meaning of life and true love.  She meets Josh (Matthew Hydzik), a handsome doctor and an army reservist, that has just completed his second tour of duty.  He is shy and clumsy.

Lucas (Anthony Rapp) was also in the park and is an old college friend and reconnects with her in New York City.  Kate (Tamyra Gray) is an elementary school teacher  and is Elizabeth’s spirited new neighbor, who is best known as one of the Top four finalists of the first season of “American Idol.”

While in New York, Elizabeth gets a job as a City Planner.  Her life is turned upside-down as her carefully-designed plans collide and fate steps in.  Elizabeth’s life splits into two parallel paths.  She eventually becomes pregnant.

If/Then Jackie Burns
Tamika Lawrence, Jackie Burns & Anthony Rapp in “If/Then.” (Photo by Joan Marcus)

Act two began with a wedding.  The audience laughed as a few months into her pregnancy, she says “Oh I’m having a contraction……oh no, I just have to poop.”  See how this modern woman faces the intersection of choice and chance.

There was a 20-minute intermission between the two acts.  “If/Then” is written by Tom Kitt (music) and Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics) and directed by Michael Greif.  The storyline was great and the ending was unexpected.  There were several set and costume changes.  The theatre wasn’t as crowded as I had expected for an opening night.

Performance times for “If/Then” beginning March 29-April 10, 2016 at the Fisher Theatre, 301 West Grand Boulevard in Detroit are as follows:  Tuesday through Saturday evening performances at 8:00 p.m.; Sunday evening performances at 7:30 p.m.; Saturday & Sunday matinees at 2:00 p.m.; and on Sunday April 3 there is a special captioned performance at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $35 -$90 (includes parking and facility fees) and are available for purchase at all Ticketmaster locations or by phone at 800-982-2787 or online at broadwayindetroit.com or ticketmaster.com, and at the Fisher Theatre box office.

Overall Rating:  B+

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