Review Roundup: BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY at Red Branch Theatre Company
BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY will run at Red Branch Theatre Company through October 14. Based on the best-selling novel, with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown and a book by Marsha Norman, BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY captures the lyrical expanse of America's heartland along with the yearning entangled in the eternal question" "What if...?"
The cast stars Erin Granfield as Francesca, Ryan Burke as Robert, Chad Wheeler as Bud, Gillian Shelly as Marge, BRyan Lyons-Burke as Charlie, Victoria Meyers as Carolyn, Carson Collins as Michael, and Chani Wereley as Marian.
The show is directed by Clare Shaffer, with choreography by Kathy Gordon, musical direction by Paige Rammelkamp, scenic design by Jacob Cordell, costume design by Camille Petrillo, and lighting design by Lynn Joslin.
Let's see what the critics had to say!
Timoth David Copney, MD Theatre Guide: And when I saw it last weekend in Red Branch Theatre's stellar production I cried like a baby through most of the second act. Because this time I was struck by the not just the story, not just the magnificent voices, but the perfect blend of the two elements. This show is a knock-out that packs an emotional punch that can leave you breathless... "Bridges of Madison County" is a tear-jerking soap opera piece of work. I loved every minute of it. Treat yourself, but bring your hanky. You're going to need it.
John Harding, DC Metro Theatre Arts: Overseeing the production is D.C.-based Director Clare Shaffer, with first-rate musical support from Conductor Paige Rammelkamp and a five-piece ensemble made up of cello, keyboard and percussion. On opening night, the audience was clearly taken with the performances of the two adult leads, also making their Red Branch debut... Erin Granfield brings a lovely trained soprano to the vocally demanding role of Francesca. From her opening memories as an Italian war bride in "To Build a Home" through her complex relationships to family and her adopted American community, Granfield never makes a single dramatic misstep.
Jayne Blanchard, DC Theatre Scene: Red Branch Theatre Company offers a robustly sung production of a problematic musical. Brown's layered score reveals the palette of Francesca's emotions, as well as the often uncomfortable and surprising feelings Robert undergoes as he gets too close to his subject for the first time in his career (or so he says)... It is the antithesis of the magic conjured by Granfield and Burke, playing two lonely souls who find and fulfill each other in the middle of an Iowa cornfield.
Photo: Bruce F Press Photography