Robert Waller wrote the 1992 best-seller.

Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last Five Years) wrote the 2014 musical that, to the surprise of many, lasted less than 13 weeks on Broadway.

Now Aurora Theatre in Lawrenceville is going to Iowa, scheduling The Bridges of Madison County for the March/April 2017 slot in its upcoming mainstage season. (The season starts July 21 with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Tony Award-winning In the Heights.)

Markiton and Smith
Markiton and Smith

Bridges, with a book by Marsha Norman (The Color Purple, The Secret Garden‘night, Mother), focuses on four days in 1965 in a small town named Winterset. It details the forbidden, whirlwind love affair between a National Geographic photographer named Robert and a lonely G.I. bride of Italian descent named Francesca. He’s there to shoot Madison County’s covered bridges; she’s awaiting the fulfillment of a girlhood dream.

The Aurora staging will be directed by Justin Anderson (Into the Woods, In the Heights, Horizon’s recent City of Conversation), with musical direction by Aurora co-founder and associate producer Ann-Carol Pence. Travis Smith (Memphis, Christmas Canteen) and Kristin Markiton (Into the Woods) will play Robert and Francesca (the roles were played by Steven Pasquale and the Tony-nominated Kelli O’Hara on Broadway).

Despite its short Broadway stay, Bridges earned two Tony awards for composer Brown — best original score and best orchestrations. The musical divided critics, according to Playbill magazine. It had admirers who responded to Brown’s score, a mix of folk, country, pop and opera, but it failed to generate enough goodwill at the box office.

Aurora season subscriptions ($72-$156) are available HERE or at 678.226.6222. Single-show tickets ($30-$65) go on sale July 5.


About Kathy Janich

Kathy Janich is a longtime arts journalist who has been seeing, working in or writing about the performing arts for most of her life. She's a member of the Theatre Communications Group, the Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Americans for the Arts and the National Arts Marketing Project. Full disclosure: She’s also an artistic associate at Synchronicity Theatre.

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