It has been announced that Joanna Ampil and MiG Ayesa will star as Francesca and Robert in the first international production of The Bridges of Madison County by Jason Robert Brown.
Directed by Bobby Garcia, The Bridges of Madison County runs in Manila (the capital of the Philippines) between November and December 2015. Further details and casting to be confirmed.
The musical - which was named the top show of 2014 by West End Frame - ran on Broadway between January and May 2014, playing 137 performances. The Bridges of Madison County is about to launch a US tour and Robert Brown recently revealed that a London production is "sneakily" being planned.
Directed by Bartlett Sher, the Broadway production starred Kelli O'Hara and Steven Pasquale. Based on the novel by Robert James Waller, the musical tells the story of an Italian-American housewife named Francesca Johnson and her unlikely four-day love affair with Robert Kincaid, a National Geographic photographer.
Ampil recently toured the UK with West End Women. Her theatre credits include: Kim in Miss Saigon (Theatre Royal Drury Lane/Australia/UK tour), Christmas Eve in Avenue Q (Noel Coward), Fantine and Éponine in Les Miserables (Queens/Palace), Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar (Lyceum), Sheila in Hair (Gate Theatre), Mimi in Rent (European tour/Arena Xanten), Heidi in I Sing (Union), Maria in West Side Story (Manila), Maria in The Sound Of Music (Manila) and Grizabella in Cats (UK tour).
|Joanna Ampil and MiG Ayesa|
Ayesa's theatre credits include: Ritchie Valens in The Buddy Holly Story (Australia), Galileo in We Will Rock You (Dominion/world tour), Angel in RENT (Prince of Wales), vocalist in Burn The Floor (Broadway/world tour), Stacee Jaxx in Rock Of Ages (Broadway/US tour/Philippines), vocalist in Thriller Live (Lyric/world tour) and Rooster in Annie (New Zealand).
Speaking to West End Frame about The Bridges of Madison County during an interview last year, Ampil said: "It’s such a beautiful show and it’s such a shame that it has closed already in New York. I wish I had seen it! I was so excited when they asked me to do it! It’s going to be another challenge for me."
Writing on his website, Ayesa said: "I have been listening to this piece by the original Broadway cast for months now, and I have fallen in love with it. Jason Robert Brown, has yet again written a timeless classic. It will be quite a departure from what I have done in a very long time, but I relish the challenge to show another side of me."