The Bridges of Madison County

February 8 – March 3, 2019

Tue. 6:30pm * Wed. 1pm & 7pm * Thur. 7pm * Fri. 8pm * Sat. 2 & 8pm * Sun. 3pm

Winner of the 2014 Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations!

Book by Marsha Norman
Music & Lyrics by Jason Robert Brown
Based on the novel by Robert James Waller
Directed by Mark Martino

Scenic Design by Paul Tate dePoo III
Costume Design by Mark Mariani
Lighting Design by TBD
Sound Design by TBD

Based on the best-selling novel, and developed by the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning creative team of Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years, Parade, Songs for a New World) and Marsha Norman, The Bridges of Madison County captures the lyrical expanse of America’s heartland along with the yearning entangled in the eternal question ‘What if…?’ Winner of the 2014 Tony Award for Best Score and Orchestrations, this sweeping romance about the roads we travel, the doors we open and the bridges we dare to cross will leave audiences breathless.

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Francesca Johnson, a beautiful Italian woman who married an American soldier to flee war-ravaged Italy, looks forward to a rare four days alone on her Iowa farm when her family heads to the 1965 State Fair. When ruggedly handsome National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid pulls into her driveway seeking directions, what happens in those four days may very well alter the course of Francesca’s life.

PTC is excited to produce the Philadelphia premiere of The Bridges of Madison County with a book by Marsha Norman, and music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown from February 8 to March 3, 2019. Price saw The Bridges of Madison County on Broadway and always thought it would be great to see a more intimate staging of the production. In this soaring romance, Francesca Johnson, a beautiful Italian woman who married an American soldier to flee war-ravaged Italy, looks forward to a rare four days alone on her Iowa farm in 1965. However, her quiet escape is upended when ruggedly handsome National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid pulls into her driveway seeking directions. What happens next in those four days may very well alter the course of Francesca’s life.

“I thought that the central story was so huge, so epic, that the original singing ensemble intruded on it.  I have since learned that the show was initially written for a smaller principal cast and I’m so excited to have PTC realize that version,” said Price.

“The score, and the heartbreaking choice at the center of the piece for our heroine have always held my interest in this work. Her life is not what she expected, and she has the chance to run away from it, perhaps to find unimaginable joy and happiness. It explores the road not taken, which I think every person on the planet can relate to,” Price added.

Run Time: 2 hrs 30 mins with one intermission
Recommended for ages 14+

Awards & Accolades

Fortunately, music is the food of love, or so I hear, and [Jason Robert] Brown gives us plenty of rich fare to feast on.”
– The New York Times

Romance comes sweeping down the plains in a passionate new musical.”
– Time Out New York

2014 Drama Desk Award Winner
Outstanding Music and Outstanding Orchestrations – Jason Robert Brown

2014 Tony Award Winner
Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations – Jason Robert Brown

2014 Outer Critic Circle Award Winner
Outstanding New Score – Jason Robert Brown

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Meet the Playwright: Marsha Norman

Marsha Norman

Marsha Norman  is a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and co-chair of Playwriting at Juilliard. She won a Tony for The Secret Garden, and another nomination for The Color Purple. Her first play, Getting Out, received the John Gassner Playwriting Medallion, the Newsday Oppenheimer Award, and a citation from the American Critics Association. Other plays include The Laundromat, The Pool Hall, Loving Daniel Boone, Trudy Blue, and her newest play, Last Dance. Published collections of her works include Four Plays, Collected Works of Marsha Norman, Vol. 1, and a novel, The Fortune Teller. She has also worked extensively in television and film and has an uncomping play for the UN about trafficking and violence toward women. She is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers, a former advisory member of the Sewanee Writers Conference, and current vice president of The Dramatists Guild of America. She serves on the boards of the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Independent Committee for Arts Policy. Ms. Norman was elected to the Agnes Scott College Board of Trustees in 2003. She lives with her two children in Monterey, MA and New York City.

Meet the Composer and Lyricist: Jason Robert Brown

Jason Robert Brown

Jason Robert Brown  is the ultimate multi-hyphenate – an equally skilled composer, lyricist, conductor, arranger, orchestrator, director and performer – best known for his dazzling scores to several of the most renowned musicals of his generation, including the recently revived The Last Five Years, his debut song cycle Songs for a New World, and the seminal Parade, for which he won the 1999 Tony Award for Best Score. Jason Robert Brown has been hailed as “one of Broadway’s smartest and most sophisticated songwriters since Stephen Sondheim”(Philadelphia Inquirer), and his “extraordinary, jubilant theater music” (Chicago Tribune) has been heard all over the world, whether in one of the hundreds of productions of his musicals every year or in his own incendiary live performances. The New York Times refers to Jason as “a leading member of a new generation of composers who embody high hopes for the American musical.” He was awarded two TONY Awards for writing and orchestrating The Bridges of Madison County, a musical adapted with Marsha Norman from the bestselling novel, which opened last season on Broadway, directed by Bartlett Sher and starring Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale. Honeymoon In Vegas, based on Andrew Bergman’s film, recently opened on Broadway to rave reviews, including a review for Jason, comparing him in the New York Times favorably to Rodgers and Hammerstein. His major musicals as composer and lyricist include: 13, written with Robert Horn and Dan Elish, which began its life in Los Angeles in 2007 and opened on Broadway in 2008 (and was subsequently directed by the composer for its West End premiere in 2012); The Last Five Years, which was cited as one of Time Magazine’s 10 Best of 2001 and won Drama Desk Awards for Best Music and Best Lyrics (and was subsequently directed by the composer in its record-breaking Off-Broadway run at Second Stage Theatre in 2013); Parade, written with Alfred Uhry and directed by Harold Prince, which premiered at Lincoln Center Theatre in 1998, and subsequently won both the Drama Desk and New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best New Musical, as well as garnering Jason the Tony Award for Original Score; and Songs for a New World, a theatrical song cycle directed by Daisy Prince, which played Off-Broadway in 1995, and has since been seen in hundreds of productions around the world. Parade was also the subject of a major revival directed by Rob Ashford, first at London’s Donmar Warehouse and then at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. His orchestral adaptation of E.B. White’s novel The Trumpet of the Swan premiered at the Kennedy Center with John Lithgow and the National Symphony Orchestra, and the CD was released on PS Classics. Jason is the winner of the 2002 Kleban Award for Outstanding Lyrics and the 1996 Gilman & Gonzalez-Falla Foundation Award for Musical Theatre. Jason’s songs, including the cabaret standard “Stars and the Moon,” have been performed and recorded by Audra McDonald, Billy Porter, Betty Buckley, Karen Akers, Renée Fleming, Philip Quast, Jon Hendricks and many others, and his song “Someone To Fall Back On” was featured in the Walden Media film, “Bandslam.” As a soloist or with his band The Caucasian Rhythm Kings, Jason has performed sold-out concerts around the world. His first solo album, Wearing Someone Else’s Clothes, was named one of Amazon.com’s best of 2005, and is available from Sh-K-Boom Records. His collaboration with singer Lauren Kennedy, Songs of Jason Robert Brown, is available on PS Classics. Jason’s piano sonata, Mr. Broadway was commissioned and premiered by Anthony De Mare at Carnegie Hall. Jason is also the composer of the incidental music for David Lindsay-Abaire’s “Kimberly Akimbo” and “Fuddy Meers,” Marsha Norman’s “Last Dance,” David Marshall Grant’s “Current Events,” Kenneth Lonergan’s “The Waverly Gallery,” and the Irish Repertory Theater’s production of “Long Day’s Journey Into Night,” and he was a Tony Award nominee for his contributions to the score of Urban Cowboy the Musical. His scores are published by Hal Leonard. Jason currently teaches musical theater performance and composition at the USC School of Dramatic Arts. For the new musical Prince of Broadway, a celebration of the career of Harold Prince, Jason will be serving as the musical supervisor and arranger. Other recent New York credits as conductor and arranger include “Urban Cowboy the Musical” on Broadway; Oliver Goldstick’s play, “Dinah Was,” directed by David Petrarca, at the Gramercy Theatre and on national tour; and William Finn’s “A New Brain,” directed by Graciela Daniele, at Lincoln Center Theater. Jason was the musical director of the pop vocal group, The Tonics, with whom he performed at the 1992 tribute to Stephen Sondheim at Carnegie Hall (recorded by RCA Victor); he was the conductor and orchestrator of Yoko Ono’s musical, “New York Rock,” at the WPA Theatre (on Capitol Records); and he orchestrated Andrew Lippa’s “john and jen,” Off-Broadway at Lamb’s Theatre (Varese Sarabande). In 1994, Jason was the conductor and arranger of Michael John LaChiusa’s “The Petrified Prince,” directed by Harold Prince, at the Public Theatre. Jason has conducted and created arrangements and orchestrations for Liza Minnelli, John Pizzarelli, Tovah Feldshuh, and Laurie Beechman, among many others. Jason studied composition at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., with Samuel Adler, Christopher Rouse, and Joseph Schwantner. He lives with his wife, composer Georgia Stitt, and their daughters in New York City. Jason is a proud member of the Dramatists Guild and the American Federation of Musicians Local 802 & 47. Visit him on the web at www.jasonrobertbrown.com.

Meet the Director: Mark Martino

Mark Martino

Mark Martino  is a NYC based director and choreographer, has worked at many of the nation’s leading theatres: Florida’s Maltz Jupiter Theatre (The Producers, Les Miserables, Beehive, Music Man, Crazy For You, Annie, The Will Rogers Follies), the historic Cape Playhouse (Guys and Dolls, Hairspray, Sweet Charity), Boston’s North Shore Music Theatre (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Footloose), Music Theatre of Louisville (Hello Dolly, West Side Story), Arundel Barn Playhouse (Pete ‘N Keely), The Cleveland Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Detroit’s Gem Theatre (Plaid Tidings), the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina (Forever Plaid) and NYC’s Steinbach Theatre (A Chorus Line). Mark’s professional relationship with Producing Artistic Director Paige Price began at Theatre Aspen, where he directed 10 productions, including Hairspray, Cabaret, Peter and the Starcatcher, Little Shop of Horrors, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Avenue Q, Les Misérables, The Full Monty and Mamma Mia! Mark has directed and choreographed for many of North America’s leading symphony orchestras including The Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Naples, Edmonton, and Toronto Symphonies and the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center with the concerts Gotta Dance! and Those Glorious MGM Musicals. Film, television directing, and choreography credits include NBC’s The Miss America Pageant, the feature film Rock ‘N’ Roll Hotel, and the nationally syndicated PBS Christmas special Count Your Blessings.

Illustration by Christina Mastrull