Another casualty of Tony season has been announced. The Bridges of Madison County will close on May 18 after 137 performances, despite receiving four Tony nominations this week including Best Actress in a Musical (Kelli O’Hara). But it was passed over for the top category of Best Musical. The show also received nine Drama Desk nominations including Outstanding Musical and two nominations from the Outer Critics Circle.
Bridges, based on Robert James Waller’s best-selling novel, tells the story of Francesca, a lonely, Iowa housewife who falls in a traveling photographer during one weekend in the 1960s. The cast is headlined by Tony nominee O’Hara (South Pacific, The Pajama Game), Steven Pasquale (reasons to be pretty, Rescue Me), Hunter Foster (Hands on a Hard Body, Million Dollar Quartet), Cass Morgan (Memphis, Pump Boys and Dinettes), and Michael X. Martin (Nice Work If You Can Get It). The score is by Tony winner Jason Robert Brown (Parade, 13, The Last Five Years) and the book is penned by Pulitzer Prize and Tony winner Marsha Norman (’night, Mother, The Secret Garden). Tony winner Bartlett Sher (South Pacific, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Awake and Sing, Golden Boy) directs. The musical premiered at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Williamstown, Mass. last summer.
Reviews were mixed when the show opened on Feb. 20, but most critics praised O’Hara’s performance. Ben Brantley of the New York Times said, “most of what surrounds [O’Hara] has the depth of a shiny picture postcard, one that bears a disproportionately long and repetitive message.” There are plans for a national tour, launching in the fall of 2015.