Photo credit: Scott McClelland
Our Facebook feed lit up this weekend, following the full house performance at the opening night gala for The Bridges of Madison County. Friends from the theater community (who know a good thing when they see it) had unanimously high praise for the show, the music, the acting, and the production values.
Two season ticket holders in their 70s who come all the way from Hollister stopped SBMT Board Chairperson Barbara Heninger in the lobby during the gala to say, “I want to tell you, you should do MORE shows like this!” They said they particularly enjoyed seeing something new and that they found the both music and story “beautiful.”
Other patrons enthusiastically agreed. Take a look at this sampling of the rave reviews we’ve received, and then go to southbaymt.com to get your tickets before they sell out.
OMG! This is one of the best shows ever! It is brilliantly constructed, and exquisitely performed. I came completely unaware of the book, the movie, and the Broadway score, and was immediately drawn into the true life dilemmas which we all meet on this journey we call life, and how we choose which crossroad to travel. We may always have that “if only I had taken the other road”, but that is reality! — Bill Ereneta
I was at the opening night performance of The Bridges of Madison County at South Bay Musical Theater last night, and it is a SPECTACULAR production. Alicia Teeter and Chris Janssen are giving amazing performances in the lead roles, supported by a very, very strong cast. Gorgeous lighting and scenic design, as well. This is the first production of the show in the Bay Area, and some theatergoers who won’t see shows they haven’t heard of are staying away. Don’t be that person. Get your tickets now. Support a theater that is committed to producing excellent shows, even (or especially) if it’s new to you. GO. — Mike Rhone
Last night I attended the opening night of SBMT’s production of The Bridges of Madison County. Wow! Just wow. I was completely blown away. It is not a happy show, but what a gorgeous production and a beautiful and tear-jerking story. The orchestra lead by Dan Singletary is just stunning. The entire cast is so committed and dedicated to telling this story with an intense level of sincerity and purpose. Alicia Teeter is perfection, plain and simple. She was born to play this part and she takes what is an extremely difficult score and makes it look effortless. Chris Janssen’s Robert is soul achingly beautiful. Ruth E Stein and Michael Johnson are comedic geniuses. There are so many great shows out there, but this one makes you feel all the feels. I felt sad, regret, turmoil, longing, passion, fear, and even uncomfortable watching what is a very intimate story. Most of all I felt the love on that stage and in the show. I loved feeling all of those feelings. I love when art moves me and this is art and the entire audience was moved. There were several numbers where the number would end and the audience collectively paused because they wanted to applaud but they didn’t want the moment to end. Pure and amazing magic. Thank you to the entire company of Bridges, (Diane Milowicki, Janet Miller, Sara Dean, and everyone else) for putting on one of the best shows I have seen in this theater. 3 weekends left. GO SEE THIS SHOW!!!! — Braden Taylor
Just returned from opening night of “The Bridges of Madison County” at South Bay Musical Theatre. Oh my! If you live anywhere close enough to Saratoga, GO SEE THIS SHOW. All the elements work so well, and the score is beautiful and glorious. Top-notch performances all around from the entire cast and orchestra. The show runs the next three weekends. — Steve Sammonds
Folks, I have no dog in this hunt, so believe me when I tell you that you MUST get a ticket to see The Bridges of Madison County at South Bay Musical Theatre. It is easily one of the best productions this group has ever done and contains performances that rival anything I have seen onstage all year. I am very proud of director Diane Milowicki and everyone involved and I told them so. With uniformly excellent design and execution, this was an extraordinary achievement. Diane’s direction was clear, every intent was realized, and the people of that Iowa town were there on that stage. Special credit to Michael Hirsch who brings great depth to the role of Bud, and to Ruth E Stein & Michael Johnson who offer a master class on how to bring three-dimensional life to supporting comic relief roles. Dan Singletary‘s orchestra was outstanding. And the voices of the cast were incredible. I started crying right around “Wandering” and pretty much didn’t stop except for the rodeo sequence. Alicia Teeter makes very specific and really intimate choices that are a hallmark of her work as an actor, and they pay off amazingly well in her portrayal of Francesca. She sings this role as if it were written for her and exceeds my already high expectations of what I thought she could do with this role. Chris Janssen works his way out of Robert’s shell and fear of connection magnificently; his naked, aching need to connect with Francesca creates the most beautiful and heartbreaking arc, culminating in a devastating “It All Fades Away.” When I saw this show the first time, on tour, I was crying for myself; tonight I was crying for Robert and Francesca. GO?SEE?THIS?SHOW — Walter Mayes