I Finally Saw

muscle23ftl
Broadway Legend
joined:12/19/04
I didn't really want to see this show. I'm not familiar with the movie, but glad that the male lead is Steven Pasquale and not Clint Eastwood. Steven was actually quite good and Kelli O'Hara is always excellent. She was flawless as Francesca and I think she is the strongest contender for the Tony- Best Actress in a Musical this year.
Cass Morgan, was also great in the show, and the entire cast was very strong.

The show was quite a surprise, the score by Jason Robert Brown was great. I feel like the talent in the show is certainly there, but the one flaw of the show is the novel. Who decided to turn 'Bridges' into a musical and invested money in it? Not the best move in my point of view, when there are so many other brilliant novels out there.

Regardless, talent is talent and the whole team managed to put together a great musical. Probably one of the best Broadway shows I've seen this season.
"People have their opinions and that doesn't mean that their opinions are wrong or right. I just take it with a grain of salt because opinions are like as*holes, everyone has one". -Felicia Finley-
promisespromises2
Broadway Star
joined:5/23/13
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 10:42am
I thought it was a genius move to turn the novel into a musical. It's a classic, well-known, short, and the plot line is smooth and not confusing. Makes for a clean beautiful musical!
muscle23ftl
Broadway Legend
joined:12/19/04
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 10:53am
Thanks for sharing your point of view, I guess you have a point. I just find that Broadway audiences usually don't really like to see either country or religious musicals based on all the flops recently seen on the commercial NY stage. And it seems that this musical is heading to flop-ville pretty soon unfortunately based on the latest grosses.
I forgot to mention that Hunter Foster is also great in the show.

"People have their opinions and that doesn't mean that their opinions are wrong or right. I just take it with a grain of salt because opinions are like as*holes, everyone has one". -Felicia Finley-
Updated On: 4/19/14 at 10:53 AM
promisespromises2
Broadway Star
joined:5/23/13
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 11:19am
Oh I totally agree with you there! I thought you meant in general you didn't understand why they chose it, I didn't take in account what Broadway audiences generally like!

I think what's great about this musical is that it's not very country (as in the redneck sense) and it's not that religious either. Because I really dislike both country and religious music-related anything and I'm just so in love with this score. And I agree about it heading to flop-ville unfortunately. ): I'm interested to see if releasing a cast recording does anything to the weekly gross.
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 12:32pm
I guess it's hard to know without you citing any examples, but I'm not coming up with any obvious examples of GOOD musicals with religious or country themes. Personally, when I think of recent musicals with these themes, most just weren't good, so they weren't finding an audience because they didn't deserve one.

Off the top of my head, I think Leap of Faith (religious), Scandalous (religious), Soul Doctor (not sure if it would be considered religious, but certainly Jewish), Hands on a Hardbody (country), then the only one that seems to be the same as Bridges is Hands on a Hardbody, since it had a passionate group who adore it, it didn't get trashed in the reviews, but it just couldn't find an audience.

Since I don't have money invested in Broadway shows, I can't say I would mentally put Hands on a Hardbody and Scandalous both under the flop category, as one was just a trainwreck of a show, and the other just never found an audience.

I don't think there is such a thing as bad source material for a musical. It is the execution that matters. That also goes for the marketing and every element of the show.

I don't think people are conscious avoiding Bridges. They just don't know to go, or they are drawn to other shows more.

If you look at Hollywood, many movies get released and, for whatever reason, just don't break through and find an audience. But afterwards, they become cult classics and adored. Theater doesn't have that luxury. People can listen to the music and think it was great, it can be revived at some point, but what Stephen and Kelli are doing right now is impermanent. That's part of what makes theater beautiful, too.

I'm not saying Bridges is flawless, by any means, but there is something special happening inside that theater.
formerly oasisjeff on here.
SporkGoddess
Broadway Legend
joined:7/27/05
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 12:40pm
I guess it's hard to know without you citing any examples, but I'm not coming up with any obvious examples of GOOD musicals with religious or country themes.

Jesus Christ Superstar or Joseph? I would imagine those count.
Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 12:47pm
"Jesus Christ Superstar or Joseph? I would imagine those count."

Yes, but they aren't recent examples, which was the objective:

"I just find that Broadway audiences usually don't really like to see either country or religious musicals based on all the flops recently seen on the commercial NY stage."

I also think the recent JCS revival suffered, died, and was buried for it not having any defining or inspired characteristic other than being loud. People didn't go because it was a religious story.
formerly oasisjeff on here.
muscle23ftl
Broadway Legend
joined:12/19/04
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 01:06pm
haterobics, you are absolutely correct with your statements.

By the way, the other country musical that comes to mind is "Rings of Fire", "Harbody" and I think "Million Dollar Quartet" also was kinda country. But there are other I'm forgetting, and yes, in the religious category: "Sister Act", "Scandalous", "Leap of Faith", "JCS", etc.
"People have their opinions and that doesn't mean that their opinions are wrong or right. I just take it with a grain of salt because opinions are like as*holes, everyone has one". -Felicia Finley-
muscle23ftl
Broadway Legend
joined:12/19/04
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 01:08pm
The TV commercial for the show is a bore, sounds depressing, so the advertising for the show is truly awful, but if you are wondering to either see this or skip it, I am telling you to see it, you will be surprised!
"People have their opinions and that doesn't mean that their opinions are wrong or right. I just take it with a grain of salt because opinions are like as*holes, everyone has one". -Felicia Finley-
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 01:15pm
Congratulations on finally seeing it! It's so beautiful and it's not a flop in the artistic sense, just financially (HA!). I also agree about Hunter Foster, he was fantastic.

"I guess it's hard to know without you citing any examples, but I'm not coming up with any obvious examples of GOOD musicals with religious or country themes."

Violet has both those themes, and I really enjoyed it, despite not being extremely into either one.
nomore.org
SporkGoddess
Broadway Legend
joined:7/27/05
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 01:26pm
Although it's not recent, could Floyd Collins be considered a country musical? The score has a bluegrass feel. Or are we only counting shows that made it to Broadway?
Jimmy, what are you doing here in the middle of the night? It's almost 9 PM!
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 01:30pm
"it's not a flop in the artistic sense, "

Just to clarify: artistic success is subjective. Financial success is not. While you may not consider it a "flop" artistically, others might. That's up to all of us to individually determine or not.
It's been my policy to view the Internet not as an 'information highway,' but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies. - Mike Royko, Columnist & Pulitzer Prize winner
Mr Roxy
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 01:34pm
Another country musical could be Hands On A Hard Body
You heard it here first: Gluten free gluten for all you health food people out there.
Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 01:45pm
I guess it's hard to know without you citing any examples, but I'm not coming up with any obvious examples of GOOD musicals with religious or country themes.

Violet immediately springs to mind.
"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 02:17pm
Yeah, I already mentioned that in my above post. It's pretty much 50/50 in terms of those themes. Another one is The Young Messiah.
nomore.org
ARTc3
Broadway Star
joined:8/5/13
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 02:47pm
It saddens me that, The Bridges of Madison County, isn't finding an audience. It is an excellent show which deserves a critical and financially successful run.

Not sure what's going to happen at The Tonys, but I suspect that unless the show pulls in some major awards, it won't be here for much longer. For anyone who hasn't seen this show, don't wait. Its very good and may not be here in a few months.
ARTc3 formerly ARTc. Actually been a poster since 2004. My name isn't Art. Drop the "3" and say the signature and you'll understand.
Liza's Headband
Broadway Legend
joined:5/28/13
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 03:08pm
^ I mentioned this in another thread but it has been confirmed that the producers brought in a small group of new investors to keep the show running until at least the nominations (about a week away now?). Depending on how the nominations went, they would go from there to determine if it should remain open until the Tonys.
It's been my policy to view the Internet not as an 'information highway,' but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies. - Mike Royko, Columnist & Pulitzer Prize winner
stevenycguy
Broadway Star
joined:12/7/05
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 03:33pm
It has some great moments and beautifully sung songs, but its length (close to 3 hours) is really hurting it. There are numerous slow spots (particularly in Act I) that could be trimmed. It would be far more successful as a 2 hour musical.
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 03:36pm
Not sure when you went, but this show is like 2.5 hours now, not 3.
formerly oasisjeff on here.
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 03:41pm
Pretty much all musicals on Broadway are 2 hours and 30 - 45 minutes.
nomore.org
jdrye222
Featured Actor
joined:5/28/11
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 05:44pm
I feel like this show will have MASSIVE appeal to regional theaters, colleges, and community theaters. I think this is the reason the producers were able to find investors - if sharing the licensing profits were part of the deal it could pay off in the long run.
Theater departments LOVE Jason Robert Brown and there is an appealing array of characters etc in the show.
I really suspect that they are hanging on to get some Tonys to attach to its licensing.
Okiekat
Understudy
joined:4/28/12
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 06:00pm
I'm finally seeing Bridges tonight. I think I'll enjoy it.
bwayphreak234
Broadway Legend
joined:7/4/10
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 06:18pm
I have never been so emotionally moved a show. Bridges broke my heart. What is onstage at Schonfeld right now is pure magic. This season Bridges is the diamond in the crown of big and flashy musicals. It is a gem of a musical.
"There’s nothing quite like the power and the passion of Broadway music. "
RippedMan
Broadway Legend
joined:8/14/05
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 06:36pm
As confusing review! You say you don't understand why they would pick this source material, but then you say it's a damn good show. So who cares? In the end it's a great show.

I'm not sure I'd categorize it as all that country. I mean it's Iowa, but I don't feel like the music is all that country. It's got more of an operatic tinge to it than anything. And the orchestrations don't sound too country to me.

The advertising is all wrong. They really need to play up the doomed lovers part.
promisespromises2
Broadway Star
joined:5/23/13
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 06:55pm
^I wouldn't call them doomed. In the end they made their decisions (especially Francesca). I could see how advertising this show could be hard though, given the plot. A lot of people in our society still consider "cheating" to be a black or white subject, if that makes sense?

And I agree bwayphreak234, every time I listen to the cast recording (which has been nonstop since it came out) I find myself just being able to sit and listen and absorb. I don't even want to sing along sometimes.
Sutton Ross
Broadway Legend
joined:7/20/13
I Finally Saw
Posted: 4/19/14 at 07:11pm
"A lot of people in our society still consider "cheating" to be a black or white subject, if that makes sense?"

When I saw it the last time, a guy (who was most likely dragged there by his wife) said "cheating whore" at full volume when she kisses him for the first time. Several people I have talked to about it have no interest in it because of the whole cheating thing. It's hard to explain to people, especially because her husband is not some abusive monster. I was rooting for them because I love the actors, and I had no qualms about their affair. Sometimes, things just happen. I guess a lot of people don't feel that way.
nomore.org

1
Page: