Love is a Fleeting Thing
By Skip Sheffield
Let’s have a forbidden fling. That is the essence of “The Bridges of Madison County,” playing through May 1 at Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.
Robert James Waller had a 1992 best-seller about a chance encounter between a bored Iowa housewife and a photographer from National Geographic magazine.
A 1995 movie directed by and starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep became even more popular. The stage musical, with book by Marsha Norman (Pulitzer Prize-winner for “’night Mother”) and music by Jason Robert Brown (“Parade”) was mounted in 2014.
Elizabeth Stanley plays the role of Francesca Johnson, originally from Naples, Italy. It is the summer of 1965 and while her husband Bud (Cullin R. Titmas) and children are away at the Indiana State Fair, Robert Kincaid (Andrew Samonsky) pulls up in his pickup truck. Robert has located six of the seven covered bridges of Madison County, Iowa.. He asks Francesca if she knows where the seventh one, called Roseman Bridge, is. Francesca volunteers to show Robert where the bridge is. Later she invites him in for a home-cooked dinner. So begins a four-day fling that will be the romance of Francesca’s life.
Elizabeth Stanley is a marvelous operatic soprano. Andrew Samonsky is a worthy tenor and super good-looking guy. The two actors blend convincingly. Mary Callanan provides nice comic relief as snoopy neighbor Marge.
If you have ever had the advantage of a brief fling with someone who will stick with you forever, you will relate to “The Bridges of Madison County.” If you have not, you can still fanaticize. Love is fleeting but art is long.
Tickets start at $27. Call 561-832-7469 or go to www.kravis.org.