If/Then | Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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Tamyra Burns, Jackie Burns, and Anthony Rapp

Tamyra Burns, Jackie Burns, and Anthony Rapp

Joan Marcus

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through March 6 2016
Price: $32-$95
Maybe in an alternate universe Brian Yorkey and Tom Kitt would've followed up their Pulitzer Prize-winning Next to Normal with another musical that finds extraordinary power in a woman's internal struggles. Instead they came up with this show about thirtysomething New Yorker Elizabeth, whose story unfolds in two alternate universes: In one, she's Beth, pursuing professional glory as a city planner; in the other, she opts for love and family as Liz. What unifies these strands is their soporific banality. No matter which world she inhabits at a given moment, Elizabeth is sure to be having a hokey crisis in it, to a score that comes across as a single, dull song played over and over again. Larry Keigwin's choreography offers nice Tharpian quirks, and, led by huge-voiced Jackie Burns as Elizabeth, the cast of this touring production is strong. But there's not much for them to save here. —Tony Adler

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