….I don’t remember when. I saw this show based solely on what I read about the score, something about picking up the gauntlet thrown down by Rogers & Hammerstein to write songs, real songs, not leitmotif. I wasn’t disappointed.
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.
The Original Broadway Cast Recording of The Bridges of Madison County will be available May 20 on CD! The music is incredibly melodic and romantic unlike anything in recent memory and outside of Kurt Weill no one orchestrates their own music! It was obviously a labor of love for Jason Robert Brown!
Four-time Tony® nominee Kelli O’Hara reunites with Bartlett Sher, the Tony- winning director of South Pacific and The Light in the Piazza, for a stunning new musical by the Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning team of Marsha Norman and Jason Robert Brown. O’Hara is joined onstage by Steven Pasquale for this sweeping romance about the roads we travel, the doors we open and the bridges we dare to cross.
1. To Build a Home
2. Home Before You Know It
3. Temporarily Lost
4. What Do You Call a Man Like That?
5. You’re Never Alone
6. Another Life
8. Look At Me
9. The World Inside a Frame
10. Something From a Dream
11. Get Closer
12. Falling Into You
13. State Road 21
14. Who We Are And Who We Want To Be
15. Almost Real
16. Before and After You
17. One Second and a Million Miles
18. When I’m Gone
19. It All Fades Away
20. Always Better