I’m really glad I got to see Bridges of Madison County before it closes on 5.18. It was recently nominated for four Tony Awards but not for Best Musical, and that apparently sealed its fate. Is it a great musical? Perhaps not but it’s a deeply moving one. Like the 1995 Clint Eastwood-directed film version, it’s about the kind of brief passionate love that can’t last (but good God, the sex!), followed by a sense of irretrievable loss lasting a lifetime and perhaps beyond. I’m sorry but that shit gets me every time. The Tony-nominated Kelli O’Hara is sadly mesmerizing as the unhappily married Francesca (i.e., the Meryl Streep role) but I was actually a bit more touched and affected by Steven Pasquale‘s Robert, the hunky National Geographic photographer whose brief affair with Francesca is the raison de la tragedie. Jason Robert Brown‘s score (also Tony-nominated) melted me down on at least four or five occasions. The singing and the staging and the sets…all first-rate. Marsha Norman‘s book delivers, I feel, a more complex and affecting tale than the film version did. The best musicals cut right to the core of life’s passages — the grieving, longing, needing, hoping, hurting, weeping and all the delights. And when they connect it’s amazing. Some primal part of you comes alive and some special beating of your heart kicks in, and suddenly the world feels more vibrant and teeming with feeling. That’s what happened tonight — an extraordinary emotional experience. My son Dylan, 24, wasn’t as affected but that’s to be expected as he doesn’t get/like the musical form. Tomorrow I’m seeing Bryan Cranston in All The Way…can’t wait.