Avon Players’ ‘The Bridges of Madison County’ Will Sweep You off Your Feet

Romantic musical explores the divide between duty and desire

The love story that had book clubs and moviegoers swooning will give theatergoers something to fall in love with as Avon Players presents the soaring Jason Robert Brown musical, The Bridges of Madison County, May 18-June 2.

Left to right: Tracy Murray as “Francesca” and Dan Romzek as “Robert.”
Photo Credit: Bryan Clifford

Francesca’s (Tracy Murray) life as a farmer’s wife in rural Iowa in 1965 is far removed from her early years in Naples, Italy. After 18 years in her adopted country, she has acclimated to an existence of fairs and football games with husband Bud (Matt Cason) and teenaged children Michael (Max Schein) and Carolyn (Taylor Belyea). When Bud and the kids take a trip to a state fair to show Carolyn’s prize steer, Francesca hopes for a few quiet days of pouring over seed catalogs in solitude, but her plans are interrupted by the arrival of Robert Kincaid (Dan Romzek), a photographer for National Geographic who is capturing the county’s covered bridges and is in need of directions to a particularly out-of-the-way bridge. When Francesca offers to show Robert the way personally, a series of events leads to a passionate several-day love affair between the two and leaves Francesca having to decide whether she will stay with her family or run away with the handsome stranger.

Based on the 1992 best-selling novel by Robert James Waller, The Bridges of Madison County features a Tony Award-winning score by Jason Robert Brown (Parade, The Last Five Years) and a book by Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright Marsha Norman (The Secret Garden, The Color Purple).  Waller’s novel was also adapted into the 1995 film of the same name starring Clint Eastwood and Meryl Streep for which Streep earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

Tickets for all shows are $22 ($20 on Sundays for students and seniors). Call 248.608.9077 for tickets or order online at www.AvonPlayers.org. Group rates are available by calling the box office. “Like” Avon Players Theatre on Facebook for special offers on tickets. Visa and MasterCard are accepted. All seats are reserved. Show dates and times follow:

Friday, May 18              8:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 19         8:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 20           2:00 p.m.

Friday, May 25              8:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 26         8:00 p.m.

Sunday, May 27           2:00 p.m.

Friday, June 1               8:00 p.m.

Saturday, June 2          8:00 p.m.

Founded in 1947, Avon Players is a 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit community theatre located along the winding banks of Stoney Creek in the quaint Historic District of Rochester Hills, only about two miles from the heart of downtown Rochester. Avon Players has been performing shows in its unique A-frame theater since 1965. With ticket prices set at a fraction of those at professional theatre (plus free parking and concessions on a donation basis) a family of four can experience a sensational live theatrical event for about the cost of one ticket at a “downtown” venue. And for regular theatre-goers, an affordable outing can be an even better bargain by taking advantage of Avon Players’ season ticket packages, which yield discounts of up to 21% per ticket. Additionally, season ticket holders enjoy priority seating selection and voting privileges in Avon’s annual “Stoney Awards.” Additional information regarding tickets and productions is available by calling the Avon Players box office at 248.608.9077 or by visiting the website: www.AvonPlayers.org.

Cast and Production Staff by Community:

Clinton Township

Patrick Daniels (“Ensemble”)

Commerce Township

Mackenzie McIlroy (“Ensemble/State Fair Singer”)


Dan Romzek (“Robert”)


Kirsten Renas (“Ensemble”)

Lake Orion

Brandon Morrow (“Ensemble”)


Matt Kush (Music Director)

Ray Township

Anne Curtis (Costume Design)

Rochester Hills

John (JD) Deierlein (Lighting Design, Set Design, Vocal Direction)

Peggy Deierlein (Producer/Properties Design)

Ryan Donnellon (Ensemble)

Brad Holoday (Set Design)

Louise Holoday (Hair Design)

Mark Misch (“Charlie”)

Max Schein (“Michael”)

Julia Timko (“Ensemble”)

Royal Oak

Ryan Moore (Director)

Shelby Township

Taylor Belyea (“Carolyn”)

Jennifer Combs (“Marge”)

Tracy Murray (“Francecsa”)

Mark Palmer (Sound Design)

Lori Smith (“Marian”)


Matt Cason (“Bud”)

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