Today was awesome. It’s been way too long since I saw a Broadway show and today that was remedied. Two friends and I headed into the city to see Bridges of Madison County. We hit a few snags when the show was almost sold out (seriously?!), but three tickets were eventually procured, though not all together.
We spent a little while walking around the city and grabbed lunch at Cosi, a personal favorite for a quick, healthy lunch. We passed by a few other shows and let me tell you, you could not get near If/Then. I’ve been an Idina Menzel fan since her Rent days, but I’ve never seen lines like I saw today. I think she owes John Travolta a bit!
I’ve never read the book or seen the movie, so I went into the show without any expectations. I actually expected it to be hokey and melodramatic (not “rapturous”, as the ads say), but there aren’t many musicals I pass on seeing so I expected a fun day out. When we walked into the theater I was a bit worried, seeing as we were the youngest people there. No lie, everyone else was retired. I’m pretty sure a good number of them retired before the movie was released….
There were some uncomfortable conversations with the audience members around us, especially the women who told us we needed to read the “juicy” book, which was “the 50 Shades of thirty years ago!”. Oh boy…
The musical, though? Absolutely stunning. It’s intimate, passionate, lush, and beautiful. I loved Steven Pasquale on Rescue Me but had no idea he has such a great voice! And as expected, Kelli O’Hara was just perfection. This is her show, through and through, and she is on-stage almost the entire length of the musical.
It’s not a traditional musical; there’s no dancing, very little action, and the cast is small. But it’s character-driven and the music is some of the best I’ve heard in years. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house when it ended and I know I will be buying the cast recording when it comes out. At one point I leaned over and said to my friend, “I’m way more invested in this than I ever expected to be!” Kelli O’Hara and Steven Pasquale make sure that you fall in love with their characters and they break your heart in the process.
When the show ended, we were wiped out. Emotionally, it’s completely draining. Needless to say, we needed milkshakes from Shake Shack to recover! But now I can’t stop listening to the demos (here) on repeat. So gorgeous!