Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale star in The Bridges of Madison County — the new Broadway musical based on the Robert James Waller romance novel about a woman who sees love anew when a rugged photographer pulls into town — which officially opened Feb. 20 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre.
Tony Award-winning director Bartlett Sher ( Golden Boy, South Pacific, The Light in the Piazza) helms the musical that has a score by Tony winner Jason Robert Brown ( Parade, Songs for a New World) and a book by Tony and Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman ( The Secret Garden, 'Night Mother). Previews began Jan. 17.
Tony Award nominee O'Hara ( The Light in the Piazza, South Pacific, Nice Work If You Can Get It) and 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. O'Hara and Pasquale are reunited after having appeared together in one of the early productions of The Light in the Piazza, as well as in the Off-Broadway musical Far From Heaven in which they played a husband and wife locked in an unhappy marriage.
"This is kind of the moment we've been waiting to explore together," O'Hara said of working with Pasquale on Bridges of Madison County. "This chemistry will help inform these two characters. And there is something almost mystical [feeling of], 'I've known you before. I've seen you before...'"
"What Jason Robert Brown, Marsha Norman and Bart Sher have done is taken a story that is naturally a two-hander and populate it on three different planes," Pasquale added. "It takes place in present-day 1965 Iowa, it takes place in Robert's memory, and thirdly, it takes place in Francesca's memory. So we learn things about people in flashbacks and we travel to Italy and we see Robert's ex-wife. They have populated the world with these interesting characters, but essentially, at its core it's a genuine love story."
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.
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 adaptation.
The creative team includes 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 is 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.
For tickets, phone (212) 239-6200 or visit Telecharge.com. The Schoenfeld Theatre is located at 236 West 45th Street.
For more information visit BridgesOfMadisonCountyMusical.com.