The Bridges of Madison County remembers that romance is about the journey | Theater Review | Chicago Reader

The Bridges of Madison County remembers that romance is about the journey 

Theo Ubique's production is a sweet, sweet piece of Iowa cheese.

Sign up for our newsletters Subscribe

click to enlarge madison_county_3_by_cody_jolly_photography_web.jpg

Cody Jolly

Hermetically sealed inside the idyllic heartland like a Kraft Single, The Bridges of Madison County is the most delicious kind of cheese. Intimately staged in Theo Ubique's new digs in Evanston, this fish-out-of-water musical follows homesick Italian immigrant Francesca as she wilts on the vine from the boredom of pleasant domesticity in Iowa. When her husband and two kids leave her home alone for a long weekend, hunky photographer Robert Kincaid conveniently shows up at her house to ask for directions.

What happens next is as predictable as any Hallmark TV movie, yet the story transcends cliche by remembering that great romance is about savoring the journey, not worrying about the destination. A refreshing rebuke to modern rom-coms led by bumbling man-children and their maddeningly simple paramours, this is a story about complex, mature adults. Leads Kelli Harrington and Tommy Thurston bring a smoldering gravitas to their performances that makes the story believable and delicious. Kate Harris and Randolph Johnson provide refreshing comic relief as an old busybody couple, and Carl Herzog shines as simple farm husband Bud, finding thoughtful levels in a role that could be one-note. The cast is made up of extremely talented singers, but Harrington's spectacular soprano is a standout.

Set against a pleasantly drowsy score gorgeously played by a five-piece orchestra led by music director Jeremy Ramey, this production sweeps you up in the magic and leaves your heart warm and fuzzy in its afterglow.   v


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

More by Sheri Flanders

Agenda Teaser

Performing Arts
Bernhardt/Hamlet Goodman Theatre
September 14
Performing Arts
The Great Leap Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Upstairs Theatre
September 05

Tabbed Event Search

Popular Stories