Broadway’s Bridges of Madison County

The Bridges of Madison County

I’ve read The Bridges of Madison County by Robert James Waller. I’ve also seen the film with Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood. I remember the sense of longing between the two major characters and how I felt reading and watching their story and I wondered how their story would translate to the stage.

I can honestly say that I was riveted from the moment the curtain rose in the Broadway version of The Bridges of Madison County. Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale make an extraordinary pair playing the couple whose chance encounter becomes a potential second chance in life. Knowing the outcome did slightly dampen my expectation of the ending as I would have rather not been able to predict whether they ended up together after two hours of intimacy and passion – the kind that is electrifying to any witnessing audience member. But I felt happy with the way the director and producers chose to end the play.

O’Hara, who I loved in both South Pacific and Light in the Piazza, is lovely as Francesca Johnson, an Italian war bride spending a few days on her own at home in Iowa in the 1960s. She’s a stay-at-home mom happy for a rest from her teenage children and husband, all of whom she seems to have outgrown. We aren’t sure if she’s truly unhappy at first, or just tired. When O’Hara sings, you listen, and from the beginning of the show, you know she has a story to tell. Her story is about to be 3 mere days of her life, when Robert Kincaid, a National Geographic photographer who has come to town to shoot images of Iowa’s famous bridges comes to town and sweeps her into his arms. Their affair is short-lived, but magical.

I don’t think I expected the music to be as good as it is. James Robert Brown,the show’s composer, created music that really expresses her disenchantment with love but strong connection to family and the land she’s been living on.  O’Hara’s soprano and Pasquale’s tenor carry us through the moment with grace, splendor and passion. The supporting characters are interesting, especially Cass Morgan who plays Francesca’s busy body friend.

The production isn’t perfect – some of the actors are older than their characters (her children, in particular) and I didn’t like how the actors were sat on the side of the stage all through the show (this isn’t Once) nonetheless it’s true escapism and The Bridges of Madison County will whisk you away for an evening (or matinee) and I’m thrilled to be giving away two tickets!

To win, just comment below and let me know a thought on the book/movie/play The Bridges of Madison County.

You can get additional entries by doing one of or more of the following – no need for multiple entries:

– Follow The Culture Mom on Facebook.

– Follow The Culture Mom on Twitter.

– Follow The Culture Mom on Pinterest.

Winner will be selected randomly. This giveaway will end on Friday, March 21st at 9am EST.

Winner swill be posted here, on the Culture Mom Facebook page and via email and will have 24 hours to accept their prize.

Disclosure: I was not compensated to write this post, however I received a pair of tickets to facilitate this review.

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  1. Erica Boscio says:

    I loved the movie and am so excited to see it performed as a musical!

  2. Following on all 3 (babymeetscity)! Loved both the book and movie, which is usually not the case.

  3. kristina kelly says:

    I loved the book. Now I’d like to see it on Broadway.

  4. Also, I am following you on facebook as Megan Hughes

  5. your review is riveting. I’d love to see this show. I loved both the book and movie and I definitely don’t go to shows enough in NY. I miss it!!

  6. Michelle E says:

    I absolutely loved the movie and have wanted to see the musical since I heard it was being planned. Meryl Streep is amazing in the movie version and my favourite scene is when she is holding on the handle of the truck in the rain and you know she desperately wants to run out and into Clint Eastwood’s car but her loyalty to her family is too strong. I’m really curious to know how that scene translates on stage. I would love to see this on Broadway! Thank you for this opportunity! I follow you on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

  7. Helene Weinberger says:

    Loved the book, loved the movie and love Kelli OHara (she had amazing chemistry with Harry Connick Jr in Pajama Game). I have my Kleenex ready and would love to see it on Broadway. I follow you on Facebook, the only social media I am on.

  8. Yes, I have liked you on facebook

  9. I just took a second and watched the video clip (on your blog) and really liked this song, so hope I get to see this musical !

  10. like you on fb

  11. Like Meryl Streep in anything she’s in 🙂

  12. Wendy Wallach says:

    I follow you on twitter as @madamerkf

  13. Wendy Wallach says:

    I follow you on Facebook as Wendy Wallach Zephier

  14. Wendy Wallach says:

    I loved the book and I thought the movie was very well done. It had two of the greatest actors of our time.

  15. Kristen M says:

    I’ve heard the musical is very good and the book and movie have long been on my to-read/watch list. Really looking forward to seeing it. @gubbabump

  16. Christine D. says:

    I would love to be able to see this show!!! Was lucky to see Kelli on stage before but never Steven Pasquale . . . Really need to hear him sing live

  17. Sarah Packard says:

    I ADORED this musical, and have a copy of the book on its way to me; I’ve never read it so am very excited! 🙂 Anyway, Jason Robert Brown’s score is just gorgeous and haunting, and I’d love to be able to take one of my friends who haven’t seen it yet with me…

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