Michael Greif & If/Then, the Musical with Adele Dezim

Life is about the little moments in which we make big decisions. I wrote that about a year ago. Last night I was thinking about that a great deal.

If/Then is a Broadway show that follows a woman's life over the span of several years along two different tracks: if she had chosen to spend her first night back in NYC with an old friend at a protest, or if she instead went with a new neighbor to a music show.

the show highlights the chaos theory, the butterfly effect, the randomness that is our life. if "Beth" (Idina/Adele) does X, her life follows a completely different trajectory than if she had followed Y.

I found the show moving and appreciated a great deal of it, but on 90 minutes of sleep and burnt from this NYC wildfire, I dare not attempt something that even dons the shell of "a review." 

ironically, the show - one of the only broadway show's I've seen since I gave up being a "full-time actor," is directed by michael Greif - who directed (amongst many great pieces) the 2010 NYC production of Angels in America - the last Audtion I went on as said "full-time actor."

that was the most involved audition process i'd been thru - it spanned only about 10 days, but involved 3 audtions - 1 w/ telsey and co's Will cantor, and 2 with will and michael. It included roughly 40 pages including many, many monologues (I was audtionjng to cover 3 males leads in both parts of the mega-show).

the processes ended like most of my young experiences with "bigger" audtions - came down to me and the other guy - usually an older guy in better shape with more credits - and it went to him. 

my agents reminded me it was "only a matter of time" for me, but all I heard was a ticking clock with no definite result. I knew it was time to make a change. 

that cchange was giving up "full-time acting" to play poker in the hopes of making the big bucks to fund more meaningful projects that I could control.  

and of course, IF it hadn't been for that choice, THEN I wouldn't have met my friend Anthony, which is why I was at the show last night in the first place.

funny that. 

as I said a brief post-show hello to Michael - the 3rd or 4th we've had since that Audtion - I was struck by how my IF/THEN w Michael was a major turning point for me, but probably a non-memory for him. He doesn't know me. He has no idea who I am. How is that possible? How can a stranger who didn't do something for me have had such an impact on the trajectory my life would take? Kinda makes me wonder if I've played that role in anyone else's life.

the show also discusses age, aging, and reframing one's sense of self in ways that I'm not used to seeing in a musical - not that I'm a strong barometer for the typical musical. 

Tho the "What If" theme shines through the piece, I was personally hit as strong - if not stronger - by my feeling "at home." I was spoiled by the Huntington Theatre while at bu. At 18 I was In a Nikki Martin show at one of the country's biggest and best regional houses. In the next four years, I'd rack up 9 more credits at the Huntington and analogous Theatres. I know myself in the theatre. I know where the actor goes, I know what the actor does, I know how the actor behaves, I know how the actor prepares. I know the actor's etiquette. I know the actor's process. I know, but I don't do it. Anymore. I understand why, but I can't help but wonder, if I put "play Broadway" on my bucket list, then what happens?

 

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shot of upstage mirror wall on the set of if/then following Mar 6th performance.