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The Bridges of Madison County Mass Market Paperback – September 1, 1995
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About the Author
Robert James Waller lived on a remote ranch in the high-desert mountains of Texas, where he pursued his interests in writing, photography, music, economics, and mathematics. He was the New York Times bestselling author of The Bridges of Madison County, which was adapted into a film starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood and also as a successful Broadway musical, and Thousand Country Roads. He died in his home at age 77.
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I guess everyone has his/her criteria for what makes a great Broadway show (i.e., new shows, not revivals). For me, it's about hearing melodies I haven't heard a million times before. It's also about hearing songs that indelibly capture character in a single moment. This show did exactly that for me. I know this review is supposed to address the recording alone, but as the show is still running (and probably struggling for an audience while Aladdin will be SRO for the next dozen years) I can't help throwing kudos for the spare, deeply creative staging. I know that "beautiful" is the most overused adjective in the vernacular, but The Bridges of Madison County truly is that. The songs are simply lush, and every singer, especially O'Hara and Pasquale, render them with palpable passion. The show haunted me for days, and I can't wait to have the OBC recording on CD to treasure forever along with my other favorite shows of all time.
As to the reviewer a few notches below who gave this a poor review, I'm certainly not "hating" him (or her), nor do I consider myself an expert on this composer's oeuvre, but I clearly see great worth in this musical score. My recommendation to others is: see the show, buy the music, decide for yourself.
and Streep. Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale are younger and more passionate than the book/movie versions of Francesca and
Robert. Not only soaring love songs but sung monologues which give us greater insight into the characters and their past. I
even agree with the decision to enlarge the role of Francesca's down-to-earth, unromantic but loving, loyal husband. His songs
create a man who isn't as exciting as Robert but who has his own virtues. That makes her final decision easier to comprehend
and accept. I think that the 2015 Tony for Kelli O'Hara's role in The King and I, although well deserved, should have been
given to her in 2014 for Bridges of Madison County. And Steven Pasquale deserved one too, for taking a character who was so
insufferable in the book----and making him both seductive and sympathetic. There's even a wonderful song for the small role
of Robert's former wife.
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