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Let it go.
That’s what the producers of the Broadway show If/Then have opted to do when their vocal powerhouse star, Idina Menzel, finishes out her contract on March 22, setting the final performance for that date.
An original contemporary musical about a city planner who relocates to New York after her marriage ends and whose subsequent life plays out simultaneously along two distinct paths, the show began previews at the Richard Rodgers Theatre on March 5, 2014, and officially opened on March 30.
Read more ‘If/Then’ Theater Review
Reviews were mixed, though Menzel’s marquee muscle, coming off her massive exposure as part of the voice cast for the Disney animated smash Frozen, and the ubiquitous hit song “Let It Go,” initially made the stage musical a stellar performer. The production early in the run frequently grossed more than $1 million a week. The loyal Broadway fan base Menzel had built during her stints in Rent and Wicked also helped drive sales.
Box office began to decline in the fall, and despite a boost over the holiday period, producers have decided to close the show rather than recast the lead role.
“Working on If/Then over the past several years has been one of the most professionally satisfying and personally fulfilling experiences of my career,” said lead producer David Stone, whose association with Menzel stretches back to Wicked. “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.”
Directed by Michael Greif, If/Then has a score by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey, all of whom previously collaborated on the Pulitzer Prize-winning musical Next to Normal, along with Stone. In addition to Menzel, the cast includes her former Rent co-star Anthony Rapp, as well as LaChanze, James Snyder, Jerry Dixon, Jenn Colella and Jason Tam.
The production was reportedly budgeted at $10 million, and while it appears destined to close without recouping, a portion of the backers’ investment is understood to have been repaid.
Though that makes it not quite a hit, the show performed far better than a number of costly musical failures from last season, including Big Fish, Rocky, Bullets Over Broadway and The Bridges of Madison County. If/Then has grossed $33.4 million to date. It will have played 29 previews and 401 regular performances by the time it closes.
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