It’s been eight long years since Idina Menzel hung up her broomstick and left the original New York production of Wicked, the musical that helped her win her first Tony – but next spring, one of Broadway’s most beloved belters is coming home.
Menzel is set to star as Elizabeth in If/Then, a new musical by composer Tom Kitt, lyricist/book writer Brian Yorkey, and director Michael Greif – the team behind the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal. (Greif also directed the original off-Broadway and Broadway productions of Rent, which featured Menzel as performance artist Maureen.) Here’s a vague synopsis of the new show:
“On the verge of turning 40, Elizabeth moves to New York City, the ultimate city of possibility, intent on a fresh start – new home, new friends, and hopes for a resurgent career. 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. Set against the ever-shifting landscape of modern day Manhattan, If/Then is a romantic and original new musical about how choice and chance collide and how we learn to love the fallout. “
If/Then will have an out-of-town tryout at Washington, D.C.’s National Theatre this fall before moving to Broadway in spring 2014. The D.C. run begins previews Nov. 5 and officially opens Nov. 24, just days before Menzel’s animated Disney film Frozen hits movie theaters. The show’s Broadway run begins previews March 4, 2014 and opens officially March 27, 2014.
“I’ve experienced the beauty of working on original musicals and was eager to find a project where the material was exciting and new and spoke to my heart. I’m thrilled to have finally found it – an original musical with a complex, flawed, and surprising central character that I cannot wait to bring to life onstage,” Menzel said in a statement. “I have loved collaborating with Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey on the creation of this character. And it is such a blessing to be reunited with Michael Greif, who launched my career with Rent, and David Stone, who took such good care of me with Wicked.”
Eee! If you don’t understand why this is a big deal, just watch the following video and be converted. And keep in mind that she sounds this good even after reportedly suffering a major asthma attack: