Triangle Arts and Entertainment – News and Reviews Theatre Dance Music Arts

DPAC’s If/Then Is Fresh, Fun, and Fabulous

If/Then stars (from left) Tamyra Gray, Jackie Burns, and Anthony Rapp (photo by Joan Marcus)

If/Then stars (from left) Tamyra Gray, Jackie Burns, and Anthony Rapp (photo by Joan Marcus)

If/Then, onstage now at DPAC under the direction of Michael Greif is a relatively new musical that packs a modern, fun, and totally unique punch. It tells the story of Elizabeth (Jackie Burns), a recently divorced woman who is self-admittedly “flirting with forty” and decides to shake things up by relocating to New York City.

There, along with a lively cast of friends, including her college boyfriend Lucas (Anthony Rapp) and her newfound friend Kate (Tamyra Gray), she begins her new life; this is also the point where her story splits. Part of the unique appeal of this musical is that it features two storylines which play out at the same time.

In one storyline, which begins when Elizabeth chooses to spend the day with Kate, she is Liz, an educator who begins a love affair with a doctor/solider named Josh (Matthew Hydzik). In the other, which begins when she chooses to spend the day with Lucas, she is Beth, a high-powered urban planner with a crush on her married boss.

If/Then stars (from left) Kyra Faith, Janine DiVita, Tamyra Gray, and Jackie Burns (photo by Joan Marcus)

If/Then stars (from left) Kyra Faith, Janine DiVita, Tamyra Gray, and Jackie Burns (photo by Joan Marcus)

Even with the two different storylines, If/Then is so well written and so clearly directed that it is never hard to distinguish one story from another. And, in addition to being easy to follow, the musical is also a lot of fun. It features a diverse, very contemporary cast, songs that range from hilarious to heartwarming, and believable, very real characters and events.

Jackie Burns gives a stellar performance as Beth/Liz, beautifully belting out one song after the next without missing a beat and making her character thoroughly relatable. Other standouts include Rapp’s neurotic, humorous portryal of Lucas and Gray’s bubbly, energetic, and highly comedic portrayal of Kate. Each cast member, even those in minor parts, however, is certainly on-point for this bubbly, energetic show, which truly is entertaining and engaging from start to finish.

In addition to the merits of the cast, the costumes, designed by Emily Rebholz, are fun and modern- very New York City chic-,and the choreography, by Larry Keigwin, is delightful. The songs, too, are truly amazing and original, making this a musical that feels so new, so different, and so fresh that it’s definitely worth seeing.

The First National Tour of If/Then, playing May 25-29 at the Durham Performing Arts Center, stars (from center) Tamyra Gray, Jackie Burns (white dress), and Matthew Hydzik, plus Anthony Rapp (far right) and English Bernhardt (fourth from right) (photo by Joan Marcus)

If/Then, playing May 25-29 at the Durham Performing Arts Center, stars (from center) Tamyra Gray, Jackie Burns (white dress), and Matthew Hydzik, plus Anthony Rapp (far right) (photo by Joan Marcus)

The Durham Performing Arts Center presents IF/THEN at 7:30 p.m. May 26, 8 p.m. May 27, 2 and 8 p.m. May 28, and 1 and 6:30 p.m. May 29 at 123 Vivian St., Durham, North Carolina 27701, in the American Tobacco Historic District.

TICKETS: $30-$115. Click here for DPAC Special Offers.

BOX OFFICE:

DPAC Box Office: 919-680-ARTS (2787), tickets@DPACnc.com, or http://www.DPACnc.com/events-tickets/where-to-buy.

Ticketmaster: 800-982-2787 or http://www.ticketmaster.com/venueartist/115558/2117654.

GROUP RATES (15+ tickets): 919/281-0587, Groups@DPACnc.com, or http://www.DPACnc.com/events-tickets/group-services.

SHOW: http://www.DPACnc.com/events/detail/ifthen and https://www.facebook.com/events/832262530250995/.

VIDEO PREVIEWS: http://ifthenthemusical.com/video.php and https://www.youtube.com/c/ifthenmusical.

THE TOUR: http://ifthenthemusical.com/home and https://www.ibdb.com/Production/View/500921.

TOUR CAST: http://ifthenthemusical.com/cast.php.

TOUR CREATIVE TEAM: http://ifthenthemusical.com/creative.php.

DPAC NEWS RELEASE: http://www.DPACnc.com/news/detail/casting-announced-for-ifthen-national-tour.

DPAC‘S SUNTRUST BROADWAY SERIES: http://www.DPACnc.com/suntrust-broadway-series-2016-17.

PRESENTER/VENUE: http://www.DPACnc.com/, https://www.facebook.com/DPACNC, https://twitter.com/DPAC, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Durham_Performing_Arts_Center.

DIRECTIONS: http://www.DPACnc.com/plan-your-visit/directions.

PARKING: http://www.DPACnc.com/plan-your-visit/parking.

NOTE: Arts Access, Inc. of Raleigh will audio-describe the show’s 8 p.m. Saturday, May 28th, performance.

OTHER LINKS:

If/Then (2014 Broadway musical): http://ifthenthemusical.com/home (official website), https://www.ibdb.com/Show/View/495050 (Internet Broadway Database), https://www.facebook.com/ifthenmusical/ (Facebook page), https://twitter.com/IfThenMusical (Twitter [page), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/If/Then (Wikipedia).

Tom Kitt (music): http://www.tomkittband.com/ (official website of The Tom Kitt Band), https://www.ibdb.com/Person/View/100673 (Internet Broadway Database), and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tom_Kitt_%28musician%29 (Wikipedia).

Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics): https://www.ibdb.com/Person/View/483138 (Internet Broadway Database) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Yorkey (Wikipedia).

EDITOR’S NOTE:

Susie Potter is a Raleigh, NC-based freelance writer and editor. She is a 2009 graduate of Raleigh’s Meredith College, where she majored in English. She holds graduate degrees in teaching and American literature from North Carolina State University in Raleigh. In addition to her work for Triangle Arts and Entertainment, she is an award-winning author of short fiction. Her works have appeared in The Colton Review, Raleigh Quarterly, Broken Plate Magazine, Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley, the Chaffey Review, and Existere. To read all of Susie Potter’s Triangle Arts and Entertainment articles and reviews, click http://triangleartsandentertainment.org/author/susie-q/. To read more of her writings, click http://www.susiepotter.com and http://www.myspace.com/susiepotter.

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Categorised in: A&E Theatre Reviews, Lead Story