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THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY Opens 7/26 at Peninsula Players Theatre


THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY Opens 7/26 at Peninsula Players Theatre Audiences will be swept away by the life-changing, four-day love affair in the lush musical "The Bridges of Madison County" at Peninsula Players Theatre July 26 through August 13, 2017. One of the most romantic stories ever written, "The Bridges of Madison County" first captured the nation's attention in 1992 as a best-selling novel, then again in 1995 as a major motion picture. It is now an irresistible, two-time Tony Award-winning musical.

Developed by the Pulitzer- and Tony Award-winning creative team of Jason Robert Brown ("Parade," "The Last Five Years") and Marsha Norman ("The Secret Garden," "The Color Purple"), the Daily News called "The Bridges of Madison County" "one of Broadway's best scores in the last decade."

Francesca, an Italian war bride, looks forward to a rare four days alone on her Iowa farm. While her family heads to the 1965 Indiana State Fair, the world-weary photographer Robert pulls into her driveway seeking directions. What unfolds is an unforgettable story of two people caught between decision and desire as their chance encounter becomes a second chance at so much more. What happens in those next four days may very will alter the course of Francesca's life.

"The story is so romantic - and gives us pause to wonder, 'what-if?'" said director Elizabeth Margolius. "It leaves us asking some tough questions about what is most important in life - and does so with a glorious score! I have long loved this story - it is truly one we can all relate too - and Jason Robert Brown's soaring, beautiful score is one of my favorites. Gorgeous music, a universal love story, a perfect setting - who could ask for anything more?!"

Based on the captivating novel by Robert James Waller, the soulful score mixes pop, folk, country and classic music. Brown's score received the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Score, the Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Music and Outstanding Orchestrations and the Tony Awards for Best Original Score and Best Orchestrations. This "What if...?" romance will light-up the Theatre-in-a-Garden with song from July 26 through August 13.

Margolius makes her directorial debut at Peninsula Players. She served as assistant director to Barbara Gaines' production of "The Merry Wives of Windsor" for Chicago Shakespeare. Her Chicago productions have been nominated for ten Joseph Jefferson awards, including best director of a musical. Her most recent Chicago directorial credits include: "Uncle Philip's Coat" for Greenhouse Theater (Jeff Recommended/2016) and "Haymarket: The Anarchist's Songbook" for Underscore Theatre (nominated for two Joseph Jefferson awards including Best New Musical). She is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab in New York and a finalist for the Charles Abbott Fellowship.]

"The Bridges of Madison County" features a cast of 10 including Steve Koehler ("The Hollow," "The Full Monty") as Robert, the ruggedly handsome photographer and newcomer Cory Goodrich as Francesca, a funny and generous Iowa farm wife. "Steve and Cory's beautiful and soulful voices are the perfect blend for this eclectic score and powerful love story," Margolius said.

Koehler's credits include "Lend Me a Tenor" with Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, "Victory Farm" with Northern Sky Theater, and "To Kill a Mockingbird" with Children's Theater of Madison. He is also known for portraying Lloyd in numerous production of "Guys on Ice." Goodrich is the recipient of two Joseph Jefferson awards for her roles as Mother in Drury Lane Oakbrook's production of "Ragtime" and June Carter Cash in Mercury Theater's production of "Ring of Fire." She is a singer/songwriter who has recorded two country folk albums. Her television credits include "Chicago Fire" and "Chicago Justice."

The entire acting company for "The Bridges of Madison County" has extensive musical theater credits including its music director and conductor Valerie Maze ("Peter and the Starcatcher," "A Little Night Music," "Cabaret"). Her regional credits include productions with Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Wagon Wheel Theatre, Portland Opera, Indianapolis Opera, Harrisburg Opera Association, Utah Festival Opera and Musical Theatre and California Opera.

The cast also includes Karl Hamilton as Richard "Bud" Johnson, Francesca's dependable husband and frustrated farmer; Dan Klarer as Paolo, Francesca's fiancé; Henry McGinniss as Michael, Bud and Francesca's 16-year old son; and James Rank as Charlie, the Johnson's neighbor. All were recently seen in Peninsula Players' production of "Peter and the Starcatcher." Hamilton's credits include off-Broadway's "Ride the Cyclone;" Klarer is a Door County performance veteran of several musicals at Northern Sky Theater; McGinniss recently won the Best Actor in a Principal Role - Musical at the non-Equity Joseph Jefferson Awards for his portrayal of Bat Boy/Edgar in "Bat Boy the Musical;" and Rank ("A Little Night Music," and "Sunday in the Park with George") has appeared with Chicago Opera Theater, Santa Fe Opera, Light Opera Works and Drury Lane Theater.

Joining them are Peninsula Players veterans Rengin Altay ("All My Sons," "You Can't Take it With You") as Charlie's nosy wife, Marge; Katherine Duffy ("The Hollow," "The Full Monty") is Bud and Francesca's teenage daughter, Carolyn; and Ashley Lanyon ("Lend Me a Tenor," "Nunsense") as Marian, Robert's ex-wife. Making her Peninsula Players debut is Elizabeth Haley as the State Fair Singer. Altay's stage credits include "Gypsy" with Chicago Shakespeare Theatre and "As You Like It" at Huntington Theatre; Duffy's include "Hair" at Skylight Music Theatre and "The Amish Project" with Third Avenue Playhouse; Haley, a member of the Chicago Symphony Chorus, performed "A Little Night Music" with Porchlight Music Theatre and as Lizzie in "110 in the Shade" with Light Opera Works; and Lanyon's recent Chicago credits include "Mary Poppins" with Mercury Theater Chicago and "Crazy for You" at Drury Lane-Oakbrook.

Along with the cast, seven musicians complete the artistic performing company and reunites a majority of the The Bodacious Bobcats, the band from the Peninsula Players' production of "Always...Patsy Cline." Former members include Bruce Newbern on percussion ("Nunsense," "Peter and the Starcatcher"); Lynn Gudmundsen on fiddle, violin, mandolin and guitar; Craig McClelland ("The Full Monty") on bass and George Sawyn on guitars. Joining them in the orchestra for "The Bridges of Madison County" are Kim Souther ("The Full Monty," "Nunsense") on cello and Janet Anderson, who makes her Players debut on keyboards.

The creative team crafting the world of Winterest, Iowa for "The Bridges of Madison County" includes regional and award-winning designers. The team includes scenic designer Jack Magaw, ("Alabama Story," "Sunday in the Park with George"); lighting designer Charles Cooper ("Chicago," "Dial M for Murder"); costume designer Kärin Simonson Kopischke ("The Hollow," "And Then There Were None"); sound designer Megan Henninger ("The Full Monty") and properties designer Jesse Gaffney ("Butler," "Nunsense").

"The Bridges of Madison County" is sponsored by Alibi Marina, Harbor Guest House and The Cordon Family Foundation.

"The Bridges of Madison County" performs Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 7:30 p.m. July 26 through August 12. The closing performance on August 13 is a matinee performance scheduled for 4 p.m. Discount tickets are available for groups of 15 or more. Individual ticket prices range from $41 to $47. For more information or to reserve tickets phone the Peninsula Players Box Office at 920-868-3287 or visit the website at

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