BWW Review: BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY at Maximteatern

BWW Review: BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY at Maximteatern

BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY (Broarna i Madison County) premiered at Maximteatern in Stockholm last wednesday. Based on the best-selling novel, with music and lyrics by Jason Robert Brown and a book by Marsha Norman.

I have previosuly seen the movie once and a few clips of the Broadway version on Youtube. Personally, I think the show's book and story is a bit thin and flawed and a bit slow-moving, but the great acting and sumptuous music was enough to keep my attention throughout. The film's overwhelming main strength is the casting of goddess Meryl Streep and the overwhelming main strength of this production is Viktoria Tocca who has a voice that soars through the theatre with warmth, grace, power, sincerity and tells a story of its own. The score of this show is absolutely fantastic and there is absolutely no weak vocal performances from any of the cast. Swedish musicals does have a tendency to stunt and celebrity cast roles which is not the case with this show. It was relieving to see to see a production with people who are actually trained in musical theatre.

BWW Review: BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY at Maximteatern
Photo: Micke Sandström

Viktoria Tocca plays Francesca, an Italian-American farm wife who embarks on an affair with Robert, a National Geographic photographer played by Chad Daniel Sjöberg. Sjöberg provides good, solid support in the sense that he doesn't overact, oversing and allows Tocca and Francesca to become the heart of the show. The musical version of Francesca is no longer defined primarily by her attraction of this unusual stranger who literally wanders into her life on the way to take pictures of local bridges. The audience gets little vignettes in lyrics about her previous life in Italy. We also hear about her "slutty" sister and another man she loved in her youth, and most importantly about her own artistic interests.

Daniel Sjöberg (Robert) provides good, solid support in the sense that he doesn't overact, oversing and allows Tocca and Francesca to become the heart of the show.

Petra Nielsen and Dan Bratt play the nosy neighbours and they add the needed touch of charm and much needed humour.

BWW Review: BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY at Maximteatern
Photo: Micke Sandström

The sets are very simple and scaled down, maybe a bit too scaled down at times. But the talent on stage makes you unaware of it and I loved the intimacy. There are no flashy "production numbers". There are just real people singing real songs about their emotions.

If you haven't already booked, do yourself a favour and come and see it and support theatre.

Tickets can be bought at http://www.broarnaimadisoncounty.se

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From This Author Isa Ponturo

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