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'Bridges of Madison County' to steam up Broadway

June 07, 2013|By Deborah Vankin
  • This undated film image released by Warner Bros. shows Clint Eastwood, left, and actress Meryl Streep in a scene from. "The Bridges of Madison County." The book made into a film starring Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood, is heading to Broadway as a musical. Producers said Thursday, June 6, 2013, the show, with songs by Jason Robert Brown and a book by Marsha Norman which debuts at the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts this August, will land at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater in January. (AP Photo/Warner Bros., file) ** Usable by LA and DC Only **
This undated film image released by Warner Bros. shows Clint Eastwood,… (Anonymous / AP )

Robert James Waller’s steamy, 1992 bestselling romance novel, “The Bridges of Madison County,” evokes many things: Iowa’s placid vistas and striking, covered bridges among them, as well as the sweltering sexual subtext between Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep in the 1995 film version.

But Broadway is not the first thing that comes to mind. Until now.

Producers announced on Thursday that “The Bridges of Madison County” will be adapted as a Broadway musical, to be directed by Tony-winner Bartlett Sher (“South Pacific”).

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The production at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater will feature music and lyrics by Tony-winner Jason Robert Brown (“Parade”) and a book by Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Marsha Norman.

At the heart of the story, set in small-town Iowa in the 1960s, is Francesca Johnson, a lonely housewife who has an affair with charismatic National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid. The production will premiere this summer at the Williamstown Theater Festival, with the lead roles played by Elena Shaddow and Steven Pasquale.

Sher’s design team from “South Pacific” will join him for “Bridges” on Broadway. That includes set design by Michael Yeargan, costumes by Catherine Zuber and lighting by Donald Holder.

No casting has been announced for the Broadway run. Previews are set to begin on Jan. 13, with an opening night planned for late February.


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