Wicked's Idina Menzel Returning To Broadway For If/Then
Idina Menzel hasn't abandoned the stage completely since her Tony Award-winning performance as Elphaba in Wicked. The Broadway star has juggled theater work with her big and small screen roles, including reprising her character Elphaba in London when Wicked made its West End debut. But she hasn't starred in a Broadway play since leaving the cast of Wicked close to a decade ago. So it's especially exciting to hear word that the actor is returning to the Broadway stage for a new original musical called If/Then. Seems like a logical move. (Get it?)
Directed by Michael Grief and written by Next to Normal's Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, the musical follows Menzel's character Elizabeth, a woman approaching 40 who moves to New York City for a fresh start and. "But even in her carefully planned new life, the smallest decision or most random occurrence will impact her world in ways she never dreamt possible." Just Jared describes the play as "a romantic and original new musical about how choice and chance collide and how we learn to love the fallout."
The description alone sounds intriguing, but add Menzel's talent to the mix, and this is likely going to be a must-see for a lot of people, particularly her fans. In addition to Wicked, Menzel co-starred in the original Broadway production of Rent, along with her now-husband Taye Diggs. The two actors reprised their roles from Jonathan Larson's beloved 90s musical for the feature adaptation in 2005. That was one of numerous screen roles for Menzel, which followed her hugely successful run on Wicked in 2004. She's also recurred as Rachel Berry's biological mother Shelby on Glee, and played the role of Nancy in Enchanted. Though the Disney film included musical numbers, Menzel didn't sing in it. I'm still not sure how that happened, but it was great to see her in the movie regardless.
If/Then will do its pre-Broadway tryout in Washington, D.C. this Fall (November) and then head to New York next Spring (2014).
Here's a video of Menzel performing "Defying Gravity" for Wicked with her co-star Kristin Chenoweth.