UPDATED with new information throughout: After struggling for weeks to find an audience and getting little love at the Tony nominations on Tuesday, the producers of Jason Robert Brown and Marsha Norman’s musical adaptation of The Bridges Of Madison County announced tonight that the estimated $8 million tuner will shutter May 18 at Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre. Among the show’s producers was Warner Bros, which co-produced the $35 million 1995 film of the Robert James Waller’s best-selling weeper about an affair between an Italian-immigrant farm wife and a sensitive roving photographer. Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood starred in the film. The musical will have played 137 performances.
The show won Tony noms for Brown’s lush score and sensitive orchestrations, Kelli O’Hara’s lead performance and Broadway vet Donald Holder’s lighting design. But absent a Best Musical nomination, the others don’t carry much weight. Despite glowing notices for O’Hara and co-star Steven Pasquale in the Streep and Eastwood roles, the show was rapped for its length and lugubriousness. The few ticket buyers weren’t leaving the theater fired up to tell their friends it was a must-see. Some critics noted the show’s problems and challenges last summer at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, which presented the world premiere. The show came to New York, however, little changed.
Lead producers Jeffrey Richards, Stacey Mindich and Jerry Frankel said a revised version of the show would begin a national tour in fall 2015 under the direction of Bartlett Sher, who has shepherded Bridges from the outset.
The news comes a day after another Tony-snubbed production, the Estelle Parsons starrer Velocity Of Autumn, said it would close this Sunday after 22 previews and 16 regular performances at the Booth Theatre. Parsons also garnered a Best Actress in a play nom.