Let’s Talk About Love! The Bridges of Madison County Stars & Creators Reveal Inspirational Romances

December 16th, 2013 by

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The passionate love affair between an Italian housewife and a handsome traveling photographer is about to erupt on Broadway in the new musical adaptation of The Bridges of Madison County. Based on the best-selling novel of the same name, this new stage romance stars four-time Tony nominee Kelli O’Hara as Francesca Johnson, stage and screen hunk Steven Pasquale as photographer Robert Kincaid and Tony nominee Hunter Foster as Francesca’s husband, Bud. On December 16, the cast and creators assembled at the New 42 Studios to offer a special preview of the show. Knowing that theater audiences everywhere will soon long for a life-changing love like Francesca and Robert share, BroadwayBox asked the Bridges folks what love story they felt inspired or awakened by growing up. What was your ultimate ideal of love? Check out their responses below.

Kelli O’Hara (Francesca Johnson)

Kelli O'Hara- Bridges Meet & Greet

Photo by Bruce Glikas


“It was my brother. My brother and his wife met in the fourth grade and dated all through high school, broke up a little bit—because you need to do that in college— and got married; they’ve been married for over 20 years, and they have three kids. The reason why they’re successful is because they grew together not apart. They are beautiful people, and I’ve always looked up to them.”

Steven Pasquale (Robert Kincaid)

Steven Pasquale- Bridges Meet & Greet

Photo by Bruce Glikas


The Last of the Mohicans, as a kid. I remember feeling that was a really powerful thing, and, as a young person, wondering what that would be like to feel—that inability to prevent your feelings from happening because they’re so big. And that’s sort of what happens in our story [The Bridges of Madison County].”

Jason Robert Brown (Composer/Lyricist)

Jason Robert Brown - Bridges

“Love, to me, was always music. When music would go certain places, that sounded like love. I was really just about what happens when the guitar comes in on beat three or what happens on the downbeat and the keys change and all of the sudden the violins are soaring—that’s love to me.”

Hunter Foster (Bud Johnson)

Hunter Foster- Bridges Meet & Greet

“When I was in high school, it was all about the John Hughes movies. There was Sixteen Candles, Endless Love [and] The Breakfast Club. There was something really great about those. He combines the angst of teenagers and how special the connection between two people could be when you push that all aside. I always connected to those stories.”

Derek Klena & Caitlin Kinnunen (Michael & Carolyn Johnson)

Derek Klena- Caitlin Kinnunen- Bridges Meet & Greet

Photo by Bruce Glikas


Derek: “My parents are still together, and they have always been in love. That’s always been a role model for me; and my grandparents actually live next door and they’ve been together for 50 years. To have that strong sense of family around me is the most influential.”

Caitlin: “My parents, that’s my ideal relationship. They’ve been married for 25 years, and they are perfect together.”

Marsha Norman (Playwright)

Marsha Norman- Bridges

Photo by Bruce Glikas


“I didn’t have any idea. I grew up in an unhappy house, an extremely religious house. Love was confusing to me. My own notions came from the reading I did secretly—those wonderful Jane Austen books. That Pride and Prejudice notion that this is a thing you feel that you can’t necessarily say, but in another world you would be able to express that.”

Cass Morgan & Michael X. Martin (Marge & Charlie)

Cass Morgan- Michael Martin

Photo by Bruce Glikas


Cass: “I grew up, like any kid, watching shows like Father Knows Best and Leave It to Beaver. And you see the mom and the dad, and you know they love each other, but they are sort of asexual in the background, so the sense of what real love is takes a really long time to understand.”

Michael: “You could not possibly have had a better answer than that. I agree—watching those same TV shows, my own parents, the neighborhood I lived in.”

Whitney Bashor (Robert's Ex-Wife)

Whitney Bashor- Bridges

Photo by Bruce Glikas


“I’m a big Sandra Bullock fan, and I remember in While You Were Sleeping, that she had this idea of love based off of things she didn’t really know. I always thought it was a really beautiful idea that you can have all these expectations of what love is going to be, but until you are very present and with the person you are actually with, you can’t really know if it’s love or not. And I’ve always loved the movie for reminding us of that idea.”

Bartlett Sher (Director)

Bart Sher- bridges

I like the subversive qualities of love, not the direct qualities of love. The way in which it is secret, the way in which it isn’t what you expect, the way in which you do things you shouldn’t do. That’s where I find it interesting. Those are the love stories I am drawn to. Romeo and Juliet is the classic example. Those two kids should not be together, and the fact that they fall in love—their love is so great that it changes everything else.”