“The Bridges of Madison County” Sets Opening Night

Frederick M. Brown

“The Bridges of Madison County,” the new musical inspired by the best-selling story of a four-day love affair in 1965 Iowa, will open Feb. 27 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, producers said Tuesday.

“Bridges” arrives on Broadway with serious pedigree: a score by Tony-winner Jason Robert Brown (“The Last Five Years”) and a book from Pulitzer Prize-winner Marsha Norman (“‘night Mother” and “The Color Purple”).

Bartlett Sher (“Golden Boy”) helms the production, which enjoyed a successful run this month at the Williamstown Theatre Co. Who will like it? “Romantics, especially women of a certain age. Men, too, if they're smart,” said Hartford Courant critic Frank Rizzo.

“Bridges” is based on the 1992 best-seller by Robert James Waller, which later became a film starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep. The novel, which is reported to have sold 50 million copies worldwide, is the simple story of a devoted housewife and the love affair she begins with a National Geographic photographer.

“Bridges” will star four-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara (“Nice Work...”) as farm wife Francesca and Steven Pasquale, of TV’s “Rescue Me,” as lensman Robert Kincaid. Sher has directed O’Hara in two of those Tony-nominated turns: “South Pacific” and “The Light in the Piazza.”

As previously announced, previews will begin Jan. 13. Complete casting will be announced soon. Below, a teaser video released by producers, which should set the mood.

Follow Robert Kahn on Twitter@RobertKahn

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