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I've always been a believer in the domino theory of life … that even though we all make mistakes (and I've probably made more than most), these mistakes help to make us who we are. Correct any of them, and things would not necessarily turn out the same way. One can regret mistakes - the job you took or didn't take, the person you did or didn't ask out on a date - but one also has to respect their role in how life evolves.

That's essentially the subject of a new Broadway musical, "If/Then," starring Idina Menzel (Frozen) and created by the folks who brought us the acclaimed "Next To Normal." I suspect that this show will be a mainstay of regional theaters in years to come - it has a great leading role, a manageable cast size, and a hummable score than is heavy on uplifting ballads.

The scenario is similar to the old Sliding Doors movie - it looks at the roles of fate and choice as a newly divorced woman comes to New York looking to create a new life. Elizabeth (played by Menzel) is faced with a simple decision early in the play - go one way, and she becomes an accomplished and celebrated city planner known as Beth, go another, and she becomes Liz, a teacher with a somewhat complicated personal life.

Menzel is fabulous as both Liz and Beth, and she's backed up by a strong supporting cast. But I think the thing I liked best about it was the reaction of my 19-year-old daughter, who, while she's never been a big theater person, wanted to see this show because of how much she loved Frozen. She came away not just entranced by the show, but checking out the Playbill for other shows she'd like to see.

My feeling is this. Pretty much anything that makes someone fall in love with live theater is wonderful. I'd go to the theater once a week if I could afford it … it remains one of the great pleasures of my life that I've seen so many shows. (Remind me to tell you the story some day of how I actually have shared the stage at various points in my life with Meryl Streep, Raul Julia, Ian McKellan, and Michael McKean.)




That's it for this week. Have a great weekend, and I'll see you Monday.

Slàinte!
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