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Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Fall in love all over again for The Bridges of Madison County Musical

It was years ago when I had a chance to watch The  Bridges of Madison County,  a Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood starrer (the movie was shown 1995).  I remember crying for 2 consecutive hours from that unforgettable scene wherein Francesca Johnson beautifully acted by Meryl Streep, was forced to choose between Robert Kincaid (Clint Eastwood) and her family.   I wanted them to stay together, to give love a chance. Am I the only one who feel that way? But Francesca's love for her family won in the end. It was a 4-day love affair, but it was intense and fierce, you could feel the emotion between the two characters.

After the movie, I finally read the book  5 years ago and finished it in 3 hours.  The scene flashback before me, and I wanted to see the movie again, luckily, there is a musical adaptation that is coming on November 20 that will run until December 6, 2015.

Atlantis Theatrical Entertainment Group (ATEG) and Metrobank Card Corporation launches the Tony Award winning musical THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY with lead actors Joanna Ampil and MiG Ayesa last November 3. The presscon was held at Oakwood Premier, ADB Ortigas.

THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY is set to open on November 20 and run until December 6 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza, Makati. Leading the cast as Francesca and Robert are two iconic performers of the international musical theatre stage, Joanna Ampil and MiG Ayesa.

Fresh from the success of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, which recently concluded the first leg of its Asian Tour, ATEG brings you THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY, one of the most romantic stories ever written. Now an irresistible, two-time Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, based on the best-selling novel by Robert James Waller, THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY tells the story of Iowa housewife Francesca Johnson and her life-changing, four-day whirlwind romance with traveling photographer Robert Kincaid. It’s an unforgettable story of two people caught between decision and desire, as a chance encounter becomes a second chance at so much more.

This brand new production features gorgeous, soulful music by Tony Award winning composer Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last Five Years) that draws upon the rich textures of Americana and folk and the sweeping, expressive balladry of classic Broadway. The Daily News hails it as “one of Broadway’s best scores in the last decade.”

Joanna Ampil, who rose to stardom in London’s West End as Kim in Miss Saigon, Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar Eponine and Fantine in Les Miz and Christmas Eve in Avenue Q, says of her latest role, “It will be my first musical in Manila after a long hiatus. The last one was The Sound of Music in 2012. I'm hungry for a new challenge and this role of Francesca will certainly give me that challenge, stretch and creativity that I'm always craving for as an artist. Jason Robert Brown and I performed in London sometime ago way before he wrote Bridges and to be able to play a lead in one of his works will be a wonderful experience; because I know that he writes some amazing stuff. I look forward to sharing the stage with MiG Ayesa, also. But, the thing that appealed to me the most was the idea of working for ATLANTIS for the first time and being directed by Bobby Garcia.”

MiG Ayesa, who performed the role of Stacee Jaxx in ROCK OF AGES on Broadway and in Manila, says, “I am so thrilled to be returning to the Manila stage with this production of THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY. The score written by Jason Robert Brown is so breathtakingly beautiful it has to be considered a modern classic, and well deserved of the Tony Awards it received. I cannot wait to show such a different side to me, as the last time Manila audiences saw me was as the crazed rocker ‘Stacee Jaxx’ in ROCK OF AGES. The chance to be working opposite such a world class performer such as Jo Ampil, as well as under the direction of Bobby Garcia, promises to be an experience I will never forget. This will be my second stage production with ATEG, and it has always been a labour of love in that camp. Any excuse to visit the Philippines is worth the work! I cannot think of a better way than to return with such a production as beautiful as this.”

Bobby Garcia, who directs the musical, says. “I am thrilled to have two of the finest musical theatre performers breathe vibrant life into these iconic characters. Creating this show with Joanna and MiG
has been an extremely rewarding creative experience and I couldn’t imagine anyone else playing these parts. Jason Robert Brown’s score for BRIDGES is one of the most glorious musical theatre scores in recent memory. What a joy to hear it everyday in rehearsals. It is an honor to be able to stage this show for Manila audiences”

Also in the cast are Carla Guevara-Laforteza in the dual role of Marian and Chiara, Nino Alejandro as Bud, Emeline Celis-Guinid as Marge, Jamie Wilson as Charile, Bibo Reyes as Michael and Mikkie Bradshaw as Caroline. Joining them in the ensemble are Steven Conde, Nel Gomez, Franz Imperial, Yanah Laurel, Abi Sulit and Teetin Villanueva.

THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY is directed by Bobby Garcia, Choreography by Cecile Martinez, Musical Direction by Ceejay Javier, Set Design by Faust Peneyra, Lighting Design by JonJon Villareal, Costume Design by Eric Pineda, Hair and Make Up Design by Johann dela Fuente and Vocal Direction by ManMan Angsico.

The unforgettable story about love, passion and choices that BRIDGE to a second chance is brought to you by ABS-CBN, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Delta Airlines, Oakwood Premier Joy~Nostalg Center Manila, Chrysler Philippines, Retro DCG-FM, Monster Radio RX 93.1, Crossover, Mellow 94.7 Sounds Good!, Portfolio Studios, Hit Productions Inc., Center of Aesthetic Studies, and Lynelle Hair Fashion.

Get your tickets now for what is destined to be the most romantic musical of the year! Tickets for THE BRIDGES OF MADISON COUNTY are available at Ticketworld at 891-9999.

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