The Bridges of Madison County: Director’s Notessymphonymtn
“There are songs that come free from the blue-eyed grass, from the dust of a thousand country roads. This is one of them.” So begins the book The Bridges of Madison County written by Robert James Waller in 1992. Appropriate then, that this incredible book, and popular movie, would become a 2014 Tony Award- winning musical. The lush romantic score written by Jason Robert Brown (The Last Five Years, Parade, Songs for a New World) and beautiful script by playwright Marsha Norman (‘night, Mother, The Secret Garden, The Color Purple) take us into the lives of Francesca Johnson and Robert Kincaid and their beautiful love story.
There have been several times in my life when a play comes along that I “need”. A story that strikes chords and pushes buttons in me that I need to listen to, I need to hear its message. The Bridges of Madison County is one such story. This music, these words, these people touch places in my heart and soul and shake me to my very core. I have been moved by the truth of this tale, and it has made my heart open up to the possibilities of true love and romance, of destiny and forever.
At the end of chapter one, Robert James Waller writes: “In an increasingly callous world, we all exist with our own carapace of scabbed-over sensibilities. Where great passion leaves off and mawkishness begins, I’m not sure. But our tendency to scoff at the possibility of the former and to label genuine and profound feelings as maudlin makes it difficult to enter the realm of gentleness required to understand the story of Francesca Johnson and Robert Kincaid. If, however, you approach what follows with a willing suspension of disbelief, as Coleridge put it, I am confident you will experience what I have experienced. In the indifferent spaces of your heart, you may even find, as Francesca Johnson did, room to dance again.”
Director, The Bridges of Madison County