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Theatre: If/Then
"Some other me is homeless, some other me is queen
Some other me has seen things that no other me has seen
If I met her I would ask her that one question we both fear
Some other me, how'd we end up here?"
Beth, If/Then

A 2014 Broadway musical by Tom Kitt & Brian Yorkey, starring Idina Menzel. "If/Then" is a look at the life of Elizabeth, who has recently moved back to New York following her divorce to start a new life. At the beginning of the show, Elizabeth is given a seemingly minor choice of which friend to go with; that choice ends up dramatically changing the course of her life. The musical follows two timelines: one where Elizabeth is "Liz" and focuses on romance and family, while in another she is "Beth" and focuses on her career.


Provides examples of:

  • Alternate Self: Liz and Beth. Also discussed in "Some Other Me".
  • Alternate Timeline: Liz chose to go with Kate to listen to a musician in the park. Beth chose to go with Lucas to attend a protest. The timeline diverges from there. Amusingly enough, the play is filled to the brim with events and choices that would seem to prime fodder for the creation of more alternate timelines, (often far weightier than choosing between the advice of Kate and Lucas) although it sticks to the Liz and Beth timelines rather than branching off further or exploring others.
  • Beta Couple: Kate and Anne; the "Liz" timeline also has Lucas and David.
  • Big Applesauce
  • Bittersweet Ending: Both timelines end in a place of loss and hope; Liz has been widowed but has her beloved children and is finally starting doing the work she first set out to do in college while Beth is accomplished and acclaimed in her field while also being intensely lonely and disillusioned with her job. However she has plans to change careers and finally meets Josh.
  • Book Ends: The show begins with Elizabeth reminiscing about meeting up with Lucas and Kate in the park and choosing which one to leave with. The show ends with Beth meeting up with Lucas and Kate in the park and meeting Josh in circumstances very similar to his meeting with Liz.
  • Character Development: Most dramatic with Elizabeth; Liz and Beth evolve into very different characters over the course of the show, due to the circumstances and choices they make.
  • Chekhov's Gun: An extremely subtle one: the play opens with Elizabeth speaking about first meeting Josh in the park, and mentions how it was at the end of his third tour of duty with the Army. However as Josh has two tours in the Liz timeline, and dies during the third and he doesn't approach her in the park scene at the start of the play during the Beth timeline, it seems like a flubbed line or a weird inconsistency until the very end of the musical, when it turns out to have been Beth speaking, as she does eventually meet Josh in the park after his third tour.
  • Eleven O'Clock Number: "Always Starting Over"
  • Genki Girl: Kate to some extent.
  • Grief Song: "Learn To Live Without"
  • Hypocritical Humor:
    Josh: I choose not to be hurt by that. I understand pregnant women are emotional.
    Liz: I'm not emotional. Fuck you, I'll kill you.
  • The Last DJ: In the Beth timeline, Lucas has become this to community activists, as one young woman oh so thoughtfully says "You're proof we don't all have to sell out when we get old!"
  • Love Triangle: Beth, Lucas, and Stephen.
  • Married to the Job: Beth.
  • The Musical
  • No Bisexuals: Invoked In-Universe. Liz tells Josh that she doesn't "believe in independents; it's like bisexuals, pick a side", and Kate is convinced that Lucas is gay, to the point of being shocked when Beth tells her she's pregnant with Lucas's child. Ultimately subverted in that Lucas's bisexuality is embraced by the narrative; he is romantically involved with a woman in one timeline and with a man in the other.
  • Precision F-Strike: There's a song entitled "What The F**k" which utilizes this, although the line "What the fuck" gets repeated often enough it may start seeming like another trope.
  • Surprise Pregnancy: In both timelines; Liz with Josh and Beth with Lucas.
Notre Dame De ParisThe MusicalI Married An Angel

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