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On Stage: CLOG presents musical version of the "The Bridges Of Madison County"

Promotional poster for the Charleston Light Opera Guild production of "The Bridges Of Madison County" (Courtesy: CLOG)

Taking the work of author Robert James Waller and putting his poignant story to music, "The Bridges of Madison County" explores married life and a woman who is yearning for more in her relationship.

When a National Geographic photographer arrives in Francesca's town to capture its famous covered bridges on film, she's faced with the choice of family and stability or whirlwind romance with an uncertain future.

"A real struggle for her is just assimilating herself in a culture in 1965 America, where she is trying to be an American but she is an Italian at heart," Emily Capece (Francesca Johnson) said. "And she's married a man she hardly knows and she's raising children in a town she is just learning about. And I think while she is very brave I think she's also very vulnerable and scared."

"It is a love story, so I think people will be able to experience the connection that Francesca and Robert develop as time goes by," Scott Jarrell (Robert Kincaid) said. "And so, you know this takes place basically over about three or four days. And so it's a fast connection, it's a passionate very strong connection and I think that's what people are going to be drawn to."

While the show didn't have a long run on the Great White Way it's music combined folk, country, pop and opera to deliver a unique and emotionally powerful story.

"The composition of the music by Jason Robert Brown I think elevates the emotion and the romanticism and just the power of the story," Capece said. "So, what is different is there's this lush, beautiful score."

The Charleston Light Opera Guild routinely performs at the Civic Center Little Theater and the Clay Center. But this production is taking at the organization's Tennessee Avenue theater. It's a smaller setting which will give audience members a closer look at the story unfolding before them.

"Just take a look around," Eric Hudnall (Bud Johnson) said. "It's very small. And everybody's who here can feel like they're kind of a part of the show, almost immersed in the whole process."

The Charleston Light Opera Guild presents "The Bridges of Madison County" by Jason Robert Brown
Directed by Nina Pasinetti
Musical direction by John Marshall
Fri June 16 and 23 at 8pm
Sat June 17 and 24 at 5pm
Sun June 18 and 25 at 3pm
Charleston Light Opera Guild Theatre
Tennessee Avenue, Charleston, WV
All tickets $20 available now at charlestonlightoperaguild.org

CAST

Emily Capece-Francesca Johnson
Scott Jarrell-Robert Kincaid
Eric B. Hudnall-Richard "Bud" Johnson
Lauren Meyer-Marian/Fair Singer/Chiara
Victoria Casey-Marge
Tim Whitener-Charlie
Megan Sydnor Collins-Carolyn Johnson
Jacob Fleck-Michael Johnson
Jessica Light-Ginny/Ensemble
Mark Felton-Soldier/Ensemble
Clayton Strohmenger-Paulo/Ensemble

Nina Denton Pasinetti- Director
John Marshall- Musical Director
David Patrick- Accompanist
Tom Pasinetti-Technical Director

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