The new musical The Bridges of Madison County opened this week to pretty good reviews. I was lucky enough to secure a ticket one night last week and I was excited. I hadn’t seen Kelli O’Hara in anything since Piazza and she’s lovely so this was exciting. Also: Steven Pasquale is a person with one of the dreamiest faces and prettiest voices out there.
Everything about Bridges is beautiful. The score, the cast, the minimal set, and especially the lighting. Man, is the lighting beautiful. I enjoyed hearing the story for the first time. Although it was pretty cliche, very sad, and got extremely dark at the end, which I totally didn’t expect, I still enjoyed watching it unfold. I was surprised yet relieved with the choice she made at the end.
The cast is wonderful. For the part they’re wonderful actors with beautiful voices.
What didn’t I love? The complete lack of chemistry between Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale. Kelli is a great actress (we all know this) and I thought Steven might be too. But I didn’t believe they liked each one tiny bit. This huge passionate love affair that we’re supposed to be witness to onstage? It looked like two people who weren’t really interested in each other that had to kiss so they could get their paycheck on Friday.
But somehow, despite not believing the two protagonists were into each other, I still enjoyed it. Which is a total testament to Jason Robert Brown’s writing. It’s as close to a traditional musical as we’re going to get (it does run a strong 2 hours and 45 minutes) and it could even be called good.