The new Bridges Of Madison County musical would be a big hit…. off-Broadway!
Unfortunately, it just doesn't work on Broadway!
The bar is high for the Great White Way, and this show just doesn't reach it!
Serious and heavy subject matter can definitely work on Broadway. A show like Once has thrived! But what that show gives that Bridges Of Madison County lacks is razzle dazzle.
Bridges is intimate yet artificially inflated.
The songs don't fill a Broadway theater. And the music is the show's biggest weakness.
We LOVE Jason Robert Brown, but his score for Madison County leaves much to be desired.
Far TOO MANY songs are conversational.
We want to hear songs SUNG, not spoken-sung!
Far TOO MANY songs sounded similar.
There were, however, a few standout songs that were quite pretty.
Kelli O'Hara lent her pretty voice to the production. And she did a pretty job in the lead female role. But she's no Meryl Streep.
And a similar sentiment can be said of Steven Pasquale, the male lead.
The direction for the show was woefully misguided.
There was little payoff throughout.
There are no bridges.
There is no razzle dazzle.
And there is just a lot of wrong.
Some of the cast, who are supposed to be playing teenagers, are WAY too old to play those parts.
And MOST of the cast is misused.
Director Bartlett Sher thinks he can trick the audience into believing Bridges is a big Broadway show by having a large cast, which does much of nothing.
The majority of the cast just sits on stage watching the action happen and acts as stagehands, moving the props and scenery. They contribute so little and actually take away.
Oh well. They can't all be winners!