If/Then
Choice and fate collide in this romantic, original story of a woman at the crossroads of her life.
Show Essentials
8
Roles
+ Ensemble
R
Rated
2
Acts

Full Synopsis

Prologue

Elizabeth returns to New York City to start her life over. She's 38, recently divorced, twelve years away from her beloved New York, a city planner who has only taught city planning and has never planned a city. On her first day back ("What If?"), she meets two friends in the park – Lucas, a friend from her undergrad year (and onetime lover, long ago, who now identifies as bisexual), and Kate, her spirited new neighbor. Lucas wants her to come with him to meet some of his fellow activists, gathering signatures at a table across the park. But Kate wants her to get coffee and listen to a sexy guy playing the guitar, nearby. Kate calls her "Liz" – the two of them having decided the previous night, over wine, that Elizabeth should have a new name for her new life. Lucas, for his part, likes "Beth."

We see her go both ways – with Kate, as "Liz" and Lucas as "Beth." Her lives diverge in that moment. And we follow them both.

Liz's life:

Liz goes with Kate, listens to the sexy guitar guy, meets a handsome doctor in the Army Reserves who would like to get to know her, brushes him off, gets a phone call from a number she doesn't recognize and doesn't take the phone call. She agrees to go with Kate to Brooklyn the next night to hear the sexy guitar guy's band.

On the way there, Liz meets the soldier again on a subway – by chance, she insists, but Kate insists that "It's a Sign," and Liz finally takes his phone number. They meet a third time in the park ("A Map of New York"), and she agrees to a dinner date. After that date, she tells him that statistics suggest there's not much chance that the two of them will have a successful relationship, but he insists that "You Never Know." Later on, he hits it off with Kate and her girlfriend, Anne, and sets Lucas up with David, a doctor friend ("Ain't No Man Manhattan"), and Liz finally admits that he might have a chance. After deciding to spend the night with him ("What the F**k?"), the following morning, she confesses her fears to him but vows to take the leap with him anyway ("Here I Go").

Some weeks later, at her 39th birthday party, she tells Josh that she is pregnant, and he proposes marriage ("Surprise"). They get married ("This Day"), and Josh faces up to his impending fatherhood ("Hey, Kid"). Liz has Lucas and David babysit, which prompts the two of them to consider starting a family together, and, when Lucas wavers, David urges him to commit to their relationship ("Best Worst Mistake").

A couple of years later, Liz and Josh have a second son, and Josh is called up to serve with the Army overseas, where he is killed in action ("I Hate You"). Liz struggles to move on after his death ("You Learn to Live Without"), not wanting to confront her loss until David helps her to do so ("What Would You Do?"), and she realizes that each of us, every day, is "Always Starting Over."

Later, she meets Kate and Lucas in the park, some five years after that fateful first day, and she also reconnects with her old grad school friend, Stephen, (whose phone call she didn't take that day five years ago, and who hasn't been back in her life until now). Stephen has a job offer for her, a great one, and she accepts, ready to build something new.

Beth's Life:

Beth goes with Lucas, doesn't meet the handsome soldier and takes the phone call, which turns out to be from her grad school friend, Stephen. We learn that Lucas has been holding a torch for Elizabeth all of the time that she's been away. She deflects his advances, but does agree to go with him to a protest that his group is holding the next night in Brooklyn.

The morning after attending that protest, Beth meets Stephen at the Department of City Planning, where he offers her a job as deputy director, which she takes and soon comes to love ("A Map of New York"). She and Stephen prove to be great partners at work – but, when the chemistry spills over, they have a romantic encounter, and Beth immediately regrets the moment ("What the F**k?"), and worries that it may mean she needs to quit her job. Lucas comforts her and asks to be more than a friend to her ("You Don't Need to Love Me"), but she gently sends him on his way.

Kate and Anne, along with Beth's new protégée, Elena, convince Beth not to quit and to seize a sudden opportunity to be Director of City Planning ("No More Wasted Time"). At a small birthday gathering some weeks later, Beth confesses to these three women that she is pregnant ("Surprise") and, even before she can tell Lucas that she's with child and he is the father, he proposes marriage to her.

We next see her, not pregnant, and alone, "Walking by a Wedding" and wondering if she'll ever meet the man whom she is meant to love. Two years later, she meets Lucas in a park, and we learn that they haven't spoken since she had an abortion without first consulting him ("Some Other Me"). Later, after Elena leaves Beth's employ to move west with her husband and new baby, Beth is reunited with Stephen, who wants her to come work with him again... and possibly more. She turns him down but reflects on the on the life that she has made for herself ("You Learn to Live Without").

After a routine business trip turns terrifying when her plane makes an emergency landing, Beth calls Lucas and insists that they belong in each other's lives. She rushes home to Kate and Anne, who are facing a crisis in their marriage and considering a divorce, urging them to "Love While You Can."

Some weeks later, Beth meets her friends in the park, telling them that she has decided to run for City Council – to start over again. A handsome doctor in the Army Reserves approaches, just back from his third tour overseas, and asks her out. In this life, at this moment, she says yes ("What If? – Reprise").

Casting

Casting

Cast Size: Small 10
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: Standard

Character Breakdown

Anne

Kate's girlfriend.

Gender: female
Age: 30 to 30
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: E4
David

A pediatric surgeon.

Gender: male
Age: 30 to 30
Elena

A city planner.

Gender: female
Age: 20 to 20
Vocal range top: C5
Vocal range bottom: E4
Elizabeth

An urban planner, newly returned to New York City.

Gender: female
Age: 38 to 38
Vocal range top: E5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Ensemble
Various citizens of New York City.
Gender: both
Josh

A doctor and Army Reservist.

Gender: male
Age: 30 to 30
Vocal range top: A#4
Vocal range bottom: C2
Kate

Elizabeth's neighbor, a kindergarten teacher.

Gender: female
Age: 30 to 30
Vocal range top: F5
Vocal range bottom: A3
Lucas

Elizabeth's college friend, a community activist.

Gender: male
Age: 38 to 38
Vocal range top: Ab4
Vocal range bottom: B2
Stephen

Elizabeth's grad-school colleague, a city planner.

Gender: male
Age: 40 to 40
Vocal range top: D4
Vocal range bottom: D3
Full Song List
If/Then: Prologue
If/Then: What If?
If/Then: It's A Sign
If/Then: A Map of New York
If/Then: You Never Know
If/Then: Ain't No Man Manhattan
If/Then: What The?
If/Then: Here I Go
If/Then: You Don't Need to Love Me
If/Then: No More Wasted Time
If/Then: Surprise
If/Then: This Day/Walking by a Wedding
If/Then: Hey, Kid
If/Then: Some Other Me
If/Then: Best Worst Mistake
If/Then: I Hate You
If/Then: A Map of New York (Reprise)
If/Then: You Learn to Live Without
If/Then: The Moment Explodes
If/Then: Love While You Can
If/Then: What Would You Do?
If/Then: Always Starting Over
If/Then: What If? (Reprise)

Show History

Inspiration

Written by the Pulitzer Prize-winning creative team behind Next to Normal, If/Then explores the story of one woman and her two lives. Lyricist and bookwriter, Brian Yorkey, and composer, Tom Kitt, created an original musical exploring choices and chances and how much fate is involved when meeting the person and people we are meant to love. With an inventive structure and an ambitious double plot, Yorkey and Kitt created a musical that explores the choices we make and the impact that they have.

Productions

If/Then received a developmental lab in April 2013. It premiered at the National Theatre in Washington, D.C., for its pre-Broadway tryout and ran from November 5, through December 8, 2013.

The show officially opened at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on March 30, 2014, where it ran for 29 previews and 401 performances.

A limited engagement national tour launched in 2015, with leading lady, Idina Menzel, reprising her role as Elizabeth.

Cultural Influence

  • Idina Menzel performed songs from If/Then on "The Late Show With David Letterman," the 2014 Tony Awards and "The Today Show."
  • An Original Broadway Cast recording of If/Then was released by Masterworks Broadway in June of 2014.

Trivia

  • Original star, Idina Menzel, rose to fame as an original cast member of Jonathan Larson's Rent. She also won a Tony Award as the misunderstood witch, Elphaba in Wicked. She famously voiced and sang the character of Elsa in Disney's Frozen.

Critical Reaction

"In the sometimes sobering but ultimately exhilarating journey that follows, that philosophy is challenged, as Kitt, Yorkey and director Michael Greif usea fantastic conceit to explore the very real challenges faced by women like Elizabeth."
– USA Today

"If/Then is a zesty, restless, savvy, ambitious, twin-plotted original that's not an adaptation of anything but a very compelling and involving idea abouta youngish divorcee in the self-actualizing, progressive playground that is today's Brooklyn and Manhattan."
– Chicago Tribune

Drama Desk Award

2014 - Outstanding Actress in a Muscial, Nominee (Idina Menzel)
2014 - Outstanding Orchestrations, Nominee (Michael Starobin)

Outer Critics Circle Award

2014 - Outstanding New Score, Nominee (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey)

Tony® Award

2014 - Best Actress in a Musical, Nominee (Idina Menzel)
2014 - Original Score, Nominee (Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey)

Connect

Billing

Requirements

You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.
CREDITS: You agree to bill the Play and the Authors whenever and wherever the title of the Play appears, including without limitation, in all programs (on the title page), houseboards, displays and in all advertising and all paid publicity, in the following manner:
IF/THEN
(100%)
 
Music by
Book & Lyrics by
TOM KITT
(50%)
BRIAN YORKEY
(50%)
Furthermore, you agree to include clear and prominent credit on the title page of all programs and in all advertising and publicity wherever and whenever the full production credits are given, in a type size not less than 25% of the type size used for the non-logo title of the Play, substantially as follows:
Originally Produced on Broadway by
David Stone
James L. Nederlander     Barbara Whitman     Patrick Catullo
Nancy Nagel Gibbs      Fox Theatricals
Marc Platt
 
Additionally, you will include the following credits on title pages for all programs of the Play, in a size no less than 50% of the size of the Author’s credit:
Orchestrations by Michael Starobin
Vocal Arrangements by AnnMarie Milazzo
 
In advertisements of 1/4 page size or less, and online and mobile ads where in each case only the title of the play, performance dates and venue are provided and in outdoor advertising, transit and taxi ads and marquees where no other person is billed, the following “shortened billing” is permissible:
IF/THEN
 
No one but producers, prior presenters of the Play and stars of the Play may receive billing above the title, and no one except stars receiving billing above the title may receive larger or more prominent billing than that afforded to Authors.
In addition to the foregoing credits, you agree to include the Owners’ approved biographies in all programs of the Play that include biographies of any other creative team members. Bios can be found on the MTI website at: http://www.mtishows.com/about/author-bios
The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included
LIBRETTO/VOCAL BOOK20
PIANO VOCAL SCORE2

Production Resources

Resource
LOGO PACK DIGITAL
PRODUCTIONPRO
REFERENCE RECORDING
TRANSPOSITIONS-ON-DEMAND
VIDEO LICENSE

STANDARD ORCHESTRATION

InstrumentationDoubling
BASSACOUSTIC BASS , ELECTRIC BASS
CELLO
DRUMSBONGOS , CONCERT BASS DRUM , CONGAS , DJEMBE , DRUM KIT , FINGER CYMBAL , GLOCKENSPIEL , SHAKER , SMALL TRIANGLE , SUSPENDED CYMBAL , TAMBOURINE , VIBRAPHONE , WOOD BLOCKS (2)
FULL SCORE ACT 1
FULL SCORE ACT 2
GUITARACOUSTIC GUITAR , ELECTRIC GUITAR , STEEL ACOUSTIC , 12-STRING GUITAR
GUITAR 2ACOUSTIC GUITAR , ELECTRIC GUITAR , NYLON STRING GUITAR , STEEL STRING GUITAR
KEYBOARD 1
KEYBOARD 2
REED 1ALTO SAXOPHONE , BASS CLARINET , CLARINET , FLUTE
REED 2CLARINET , ENGLISH HORN (OPT.) , OBOE (OPTIONAL) , TENOR SAXOPHONE
TRUMPETFLUGELHORN , TRUMPET
VIOLA
VIOLIN
VIOLIN 2