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Exclusive: Anthony Rapp Talks "If/Then," Idina Menzel And His Storied Career

Meghan Harvey | PopWrapped Author

Meghan Harvey

Updated 10/31/2016 1:49pm
Exclusive: Anthony Rapp Talks

Do you ever look back on your life and wonder what might have been if you had made different choices? Well the Broadway musical If/Then takes that thought process and spins it into a tale that simultaneously follows one woman's two potential life paths. Set amongst the backdrop of New York City, If/Then offers a look at the different paths we can take in life. If/Then is playing now through December 6 at SHN Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco starring Idina Menzel as Elizabeth, and her former RENT co-star Anthony Rapp, with music by Tom Kitt and book and lyrics by Brian Yorkey.

I got the chance to talk to talk to Anthony Rapp about If/Then recently.  Anthony told me a little about his role and the plot of If/Then and his favorite number from the show...

If/Then is about a woman who is coming back to New York after a long time away, after the end of her marriage that took her away from New York. It’s set from the day she returns. I play Lucas who's an old college friend and ex boyfriend from college and we stayed friends all these years and we get reacquainted when she comes back to town and then the show follows her from that day. It's a very very small incision that she makes to either go with me or with her new friend Kate to do a very simple activity that day and it follows both story lines from that point forward from that very small decision and all the ripple effects and all the different ways that her life unfolds differently because of that one small choice.

There's a there's a song in Act 2 called "Some Other Me." That whole sequence is the most meaningful to me. There's also another song that I get to sing to her, a solo, called "You Don’t Need to Love Me." It’s a really beautiful song. To sing with her {Idina Menzel} is such a pleasure and an honor.

We’re in Denver now. We had our tech rehearsals here and then we go to a bunch of places on the west coast and the tour itself goes over 40 weeks. The core group of original principles are only staying together for the first 14 weeks and then other people are taking over for the rest of the tour.”

Anthony RappAnthony has certainly left his mark on Broadway and I had to take the opportunity to ask him what his most meaningful role on stage has been so far.

“Well, for so many reasons, Mark Cohen {from RENT}. That show changed my life in every conceivable way and continues to give back to my life even almost 20 years later. This show {If/Then} is a perfect example of people that I'm working with on this, Idina Menzel and our director Michael Greif were people that I worked with on RENT. Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, who wrote this show, I met them in part because in a sense that they were so inspired by RENT, that was a big source of how they approached writing music theater and that’s part of the reason why the reached out to me years ago to do developmental readings of their other show Next to Normal. It's the role itself as well as everything else surrounding it that make it the most meaningful experience.”

Of course I couldn’t ask that question without also asking what Anthony’s dream role would be…

“Well I’ve gotten close a couple times to getting to play the MC in Cabaret. One time it was just down to the wire and I wound up not getting cast. One time I was offered a production but I couldn't do it because of my schedule and a previous commitment. That's one that's certainly nipping at my heels and I would love to get the chance to do that.”

I also checked in with Anthony to ask about his favorite past movie roles and upcoming film projects.

“I've done a couple of really interesting small budget independent films this past summer and the nature of those films is you never know exactly when they're going to see the light of day. They will play some festivals first so I just don't know exactly when they'll be out and viewable by the general public. They were good experiences to make. I haven’t seen them yet because they’re still editing them. One is called Dreamland and one is called Modern Love.

In terms of the films that I've made that I'm proudest of is a film that if I weren't in it I would enjoy the most, as a viewer or audience member is Dazed and Confused.”

If/Then is currently at the Orpheum Theater in San Francisco through December 6th and then makes its way to Los Angeles. For more dates on the current tour, check here

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