By Adam Hetrick
18 May 2014
|Photo by Joan Marcus|
Directed by Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher (Golden Boy, South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza), the new musical arrived on Broadway Jan. 17 at the Schoenfeld after a developmental summer engagement at the Williamstown Theatre Festival. It officially opened Feb. 20.
Despite being one of only a handful of new musicals to arrive with a completely original score this season, The Bridges of Madison County was overlooked by the Tony Award nominating committee in the category of Best Musical.
A Ghostlight Records cast album preserves the score.
Critics were divided on the story about a woman who falls in love with a traveling National Geographic photographer, but chooses to stay behind to raise her family. While the musical amassed a legion of admirers who responded to Brown's score that mixed folk, country, pop and operatic passages, it failed to ignite wide audience appeal at the box office.
Five-time Tony Award nominee Kelli O'Hara (The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific, Nice Work If You Can Get It) and Steven Pasquale (Reasons to Be Pretty, Far From Heaven, "Rescue Me") lead the cast as Italian-American housewife Francesca Johnson and National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid, respectively.
Tony nominee Hunter Foster (Hands on a Hardbody, Urinetown, Little Shop of Horrors) portrays Bud Johnson, with Derek Klena (Wicked) and Caitlin Kinnunen (Spring Awakening) as teenagers Michael and Carolyn Johnson, respectively.
Cass Morgan (Memphis) and Michael X. Martin (Catch Me If You Can) play the roles of Marge and Charlie, the ever-present next door neighbors. The cast is completed by Whitney Bashor, Jennifer Allen, Ephie Aardema, Katie Klaus, Luke Marinkovich, Aaron Ramey, Dan Sharkey, Tim Wright, Jessica Vosk, Charlie Franklin and Kevin Kern.
The creative team included Michael Yeargan (scenic design), Donald Holder (lighting design), Catherine Zuber (costume design), Jon Weston (sound design), Deborah Hecht (dialect coach) and Thomas Murray (music director).
The musical was produced by Jeffrey Richards, Stacey Mindich, and Jerry Frankel. They will be joined by Gutterman Chernoff, Hunter Arnold, Ken Davenport, Carl Daikeler, Scott M. Delman, Aaron Priest, Red Mountain Theatre Company, Independent Presenters Network, Libby Adler Mages/Mari Stuart, Caiola Productions, Remmel Dickinson, David Lancaster, Bellanca Smigel Rutter, Mark S. Golub & David S. Golub, Will Trice, with Warner Bros Theatre Ventures and The Shubert Organization.
The romantic musical centers on a brief, four-day love affair between a National Geographic photographer and an Italian-American housewife in 1965 Iowa. Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep starred in the 1995 film adaptatio
The Schoenfeld Theatre is located at 236 West 45th Street. For more information visit BridgesOfMadisonCountyMusical.com.