The Bridges of Madison County
First Musical of Collaborative Theatre Project’s 2019 Season
The music and lyrics are by Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years and Songs for A New World) with book by Marsha Norman (‘night Mother and The Secret Garden). The exciting evening begins with delicious treats and a pre-show celebration. The show begins at 7:30 pm and the pre-show party starts at 6:45 pm. Bridges continues through Sunday, May 12 and a special Mother’s Day treat at the final matinee closes out this regional premiere. A low-priced preview, on April 11 is available as a general admission ticket for only $15.00. Ticket prices range from $15-$28. Bridges of Madison County premiered on Broadway at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in 2014 and starred Kelli O’Hara as Francesca and Steven Pasquale as Robert. Brown’s work on the musical won the 2014 Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations. The score is lush and moving and the work was recently produced at the Utah Repertory Theater Company.
The Bridges of Madison County, based on the best-selling Robert James Waller novel of the same name, opens with a gala reception on Friday, April 12.
Francesca (Lauren Blair) is an Italian war bride, living in Iowa in 1965. Her quiet, uneventful life has followed a pattern for the past 18 years. Her family, husband Bud (Justin Waggle), son Michael (Zaq Wentworth) and daughter Carolyn (Hazel Marie Werfel) are planning a trip to Indianapolis to the National 4-H Fair. Francesca remains behind, with a simple, relaxing weekend planned. Robert Kincaid (Alex Boyles), is a National Geographic photographer whose assignment is to photograph the iconic covered bridges of Madison County. He’s unable to find the seventh bridge, and Francesca agrees to accompany him for a short scouting trip. This encounter leads to an evening of conversation and dinner, during which both realize something significant has developed between them. The following day they continue to meet and talk. Francesca about her life in Naples during the war and Robert about his photographic assignment in Naples during the post-war period. The connection deepens until neither one is willing to break the bond and they fall deeply in love. But the impossibility of leaving her home and family forces Francesca to realize that her dreams of running away to another life are just that – dreams. The touching, powerful ending of this show is not regretful, but rather a poignant reminder that decisions are not simple, and the consequences of actions can change lives in a moment. Robert loved Francesca because she loved her family enough to sacrifice her own happiness. Francesca regrets neither her love for him nor her love for her family and has the joy of watching her children grow, marry and start families of their own. Directed by Daniel S. Stephens, who directed the critically acclaimed Himself and Nora for CTP as well as choreographed The Snow Queen, the show is an adaptation from the original format (novel) into a musical. Stephens states that “when a work is adapted into a new format, changes are inevitable. In the musical, Francesca’s story is amplified by the story of her family and her neighbors. Bridges spans the gap of memory and present moment, between Heart and Mind. A single moment, meeting someone new, can awaken memories and emotions long tamped down by the routines of life. A dilemma arises. What is the resolution? Because whatever choices are made, there will be consequences.” Lauren Blair directed CTP’s 2018 holiday musical, Tuck Everlasting and most recently directed Beehive at Oregon Cabaret Theatre. Alex Boyles was last seen on the CTP stage as Angus Tuck, and both he and Blair are excited about this opportunity to work on this project together. Many of the performers have regularly appeared on the CTP stage and the entire ensemble provides a solid, professional performance. Musical direction is by local artist John Taylor; Scenic Design by Nicholas Jules Hewitt, Costumes by Susan Aversa-Orrego, Light and Sound Design by Mike Kunkel. The production stage manager is Dinah Greenfield and the ensemble cast includes Renee Hewitt (Marge), Sean Warren (Charlie), Courtney Crawford (Marion), Joey Larimer, Rose Passione, Lisa-Marie Newton, Jazmine Mathis, and Jessi Shieman as the ensemble members who people Francesca’s world. The Lobby Gallery will feature the photographic works of West Christy and Gerry Katz; Black and white portraits in high quality graphite are displayed by Kim Ragsdale. The photography and the drawings evoke the spirit of Robert Kincaid and the rural atmosphere which was part of Francesca’s life. Preview tickets are $15. Tickets for the rest of the run range from $18-25. Group ticket prices are available by calling 541 779-1055. Tickets are $28 general admission, $22 for seniors and students. Tickets are available online through or by calling the theatre at (541) 779-1055.
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