Marc delaCruz joins national tour of ‘If/Then’ with Idina Menzel

'Returning to Seattle is a humbling experience.'

‘Returning to Seattle is a humbling experience.’

By Walter Ang

Marc delaCruz made his Broadway debut last year in the musical “If/Then.” Back then, he understudied the role of David, but now he’s playing the part for the production’s national tour.

He gets to share the stage with Broadway superstar Idina Menzel (“Wicked,” “Frozen”) and Anthony Rapp (“Rent,” “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brow”).

“Idina and Anthony are incredible to work with,” he said. “They are generous, smart and fiercely talented performers, and offstage such grounded, warm and humble individuals.”

“I learn so much from them every night. One could easily be intimidated by their accomplishments but there are no egos involved. They are beautiful artists and it is a privilege to be on stage with them,” he added.

The musical is from the same team that created the Pulitzer prize-winning musical “Next to Normal” and follows two distinct storylines in the life of Elizabeth (played by Menzel), a city planner who moves back to New York to restart her life and career.

In the same vein, the tour will allow delaCruz to revisit the city where he grew up. Though born in Hawaii to a Filipino father, he was raised in Seattle. The tour kicked off in Denver and will tour Seattle in November, moving on to San Francisco and Los Angeles later on.

“It is all coming full circle because Seattle is where I got started. There are many talented Seattle theater artists who mentored me, opened doors and offered encouragement and opportunity.

“They gave me my career. Returning there is a humbling experience,” he said.

While studying at the University of Washington, he trained in the dance department and performed with student dance and singing groups. While in college, he was cast in his first professional production, “The Fantasticks,” with the Northwest Asian American Theater Company.

But the performing bug bit him far earlier than college.

“I was lucky enough to grow up watching a lot of theater. My mother felt it was important to expose her children to as much culture and art as possible so she often took us to local productions or shows coming through Seattle on tour,” he said.

“If/Then” will be staged at the Paramount Theatre from Nov. 3 to 8.

“That’s where I saw a lot of shows growing up. To be returning there, playing a role in an exciting new musical with this stellar cast is a dream come true,” he said.

He went on to act for theater groups in Seattle and nearby regions such as ReAct, Village Theatre, and the 5th Avenue Theatre. He originated a role in the long running stage serial “Sex in Seattle” and was in Village Theatre’s “Making Tracks,” an Asian American rock musical. He’s gone on to play Thuy in “Miss Saigon” and Chip Tolentino in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.”

He eventually made his way to New York and was cast in the national tour of Disney’s “High School Musical.” In 2012, he was part of the world premiere cast of “Allegiance” at San Diego’s Old Globe Theatre alongside George Takei and Lea Salonga.

Being back on the road is something he looks forward to.

“It’s exciting to travel to so many different cities and experiencing what life is like around the country,” he said. “We also get to experience the thrill of an opening night every time we arrive in a new city.”

He admits that touring a production can have its challenges. “You’re literally living out of a suitcase and you still miss the comforts of home. You miss your friends and loved ones,” he said.

However, he shared that there is “something else” that happens on tour. “A special bond is created with fellow cast and crew members who are also on the road. We become like a family sharing this big adventure together. Anyone who is lucky enough to tour with a show will invariably make tons of memories to last a lifetime.”

‘If/Then’ ensemble members Marc delaCruz, Pearl Sun and Charles Hagerty on opening night. Photo:

‘If/Then’ ensemble members Marc delaCruz, Pearl Sun and Charles Hagerty on opening night. Photo:

Walter Ang is a freelance writer whose articles have appeared in Philippine Daily Inquirer, Asian Dragon Magazine, Metro Magazine of ABS-CBN Publishing, among other publications. Aside from theater, his interests include yoga, Star Trek, and astrology.

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