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If/Then

Since its Broadway premiere in 2014, the Tony-nominated musical If/Then has received mixed reviews and reminded many theater-goers of the 1998 film Sliding Doors, in which Gwyneth Paltrow inhabits parallel realities. Penned by the Pulitzer winning team of Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey (Next to Normal), the nontraditional play follows Elizabeth Vaughn, a recently divorced, 38-year-old urban design professor who returns home to New York City in search of a new life. Instead she finds two lives: one as Liz, who starts a family with an Army doctor; and one as Beth, who lands a high-powered job as an urban planner. Peppered with poppy power ballads first performed by Idina Menzel, the theatrical meditation on roads not taken can be tricky to follow since the only distinguishing difference between the two characters is that Liz wears glasses and Beth does not. Humorously dissed by critics as “a Lifetime movie — or two Lifetime movies spliced together” (Ben Brantley for The New York Times) and a “Wonder Bread story about a middle-class professional inhabiting a mythically sparkling and crime-free Manhattan” (Deborah Klugman for LA Weekly), If/Then lands at the Public Theater in a production directed by Molly Cox and starring Stephanie Genito.

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