This time last week I received an unexpected Twitter dm from Center Theatre Group LA, asking if I'd want to attend their latest production. Uh, that's definitely a no-brainer. You already know I accepted. I'd do pretty much anything to see a musical for free - anything except sitting on the infamous casting couch... If you know what I mean.
So I accepted their generous gift, and received 2 tickets to see The Bridges of Madison County this past Sunday. Let me preface by mentioning how I hadn't heard of The Bridges of Madison County until CTGLA reached out to me. And apparently I've been living under a rock for the past 20 years - I hear both the novel and original film with Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood were just as good. I was blown away, as to be expected, by everything - the storyline, the singing, the stage set ups - everything.
If you're unfamiliar with Bridges, it's a story about an Italian immigrant, now Iowan farmer's wife, and an American photojournalist's quest to find true love. Francesca and Robert meet as Robert is passing through her small Iowa town to take photos of the neighborhood bridge for National Geographic. While Francesca's husband and kids are out of town at some farmer's fair, she lets her hair down and has a secret rendezvous with Robert for 3-4 days. It's amazing, and my brief synopsis isn't doing it any justice; So much so, that I'm dying to see the original film (it's hard to imagine Meryl pulling off an Italian accent, but I hear that this role earned her an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress).
In the end, Francesca is forced to choose between her newly found, true love and her family. Spoiler Alert: she chooses the latter. Although I understood her thought process - I'm a mother and could never imagine leaving my son - I left the theater extremely pissed off. I mean, I was fuming. Thinking about the sacrifices women make for the betterment of the loved ones in our lives is depressing. Francesca put her happiness aside to fulfill her obligations. She was loyal, and couldn't leave her husband behind. Francesca loved Robert, but she loved her children more.
You'll have to watch The Bridges of Madison County for yourself in order to get more of the deets - no more spoilers from me.
And, if you're in the LA area, be sure to check out The Bridges musical at the Ahmanson Theatre downtown LA. You have until January 17th - and trust me... You don't want to miss it.
Special thanks to the wonderful folks over at CTGLA for the tickets.