Izbasa carried the Romanian flag at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Olympic Games. Tradition has been that the athlete that carried the flag during the closing ceremony of the previous games is invited to the send of ceremony of the upcoming games and hands of the flag to whoever the flag barrier is for the Olympic Games, in this case Ponor. However, the ROC changed this tradition at the last minute. The flag exchange apparently was from Alin Moldovan. Izbasa wasn’t even invited to the ceremony. Izbasa stated that she has brought much pride to Romania, 4 Olympic medals, 2 golds, 2 bronze. She feels disrespect from the ROC and would have appreciated if her hard work would have still been recognized 4 years later. But wallah, it’s Romania. Tara lucrurilor prost facut.
REVIEW: The Bridges of Madison County National Tour - 7/19/16
So I finally saw Bridges last night after waiting for 6 months! First let me say that this review might be kind of hard to write, because there’s a lot of beauty in this show that’s kind of hard to put into words? It’s an intimate show rather than one that relies on heavy special effects.
We ate at Mellow Mushroom before the show, so the evening was already awesome before we even got to the theatre. We got there about 45 minutes prior to seating and took pictures, and also found a little lizard in the lobby!
Our seats were in the 5th row, which is the closest I’ve sat to the stage at this particular theatre. The tickets were only $89, and we chose close seats knowing that the sets were simplistic and it would be much better to watch from up front. The theatre is a little over 2000 seats and has 2 balconies, but both balconies were mostly empty. The front of the orchestra section was packed though, so maybe everyone else had the same thought we did. A huge majority of the crowd was elderly people, which is probably due to the fact that they’re the ones who read the original book.
To Build a Home is obviously the opening number, and Elizabeth killed it. This cast had huge shoes to fill after the original Broadway production, but they all exceeded expectations. Elizabeth, Andrew, and all of the supporting cast were really stunning.
I knew from watching an OBC bootleg that the ensemble moved the sets in and out, but it was still very interesting to watch. And I loved how certain characters would occasionally be watching in on a particular scene. For example, Bud is the one who moves in the set piece for Robert’s truck, and at one point Robert’s ex wife walks through the kitchen and they make eye contact.
Elizabeth and Andrew really made their own versions of these characters rather than copying what the original cast did. Based on what I remember of the OBC bootleg, Kelli and Steven were both more playful while Elizabeth and Andrew were both very serious. For example, when Robert is taking pictures of Francesca on the bridge, Kelli was laughing a lot whereas Elizabeth was very serious. And after Robert and Francesca are kissing in the kitchen, Robert says something along the lines of if you want me to leave, tell me now; I think I can leave now if you make me. With Steven it was said like more of a joke, but Andrew was dead serious. I like both interpretations of the characters equally and the jokes still worked with the serious interpretation, I thought it was just a fun observation.
All of the vocals were stunning but I think Wondering, Falling Into You, One Second and a Million Miles, It All Fades Away, and Always Better killed me the most. But literally everyone’s singing was to die for.
I didn’t cry, but I probably would have if I hadn’t known what was coming. My big sister was crying from It All Fades Away through the end of the show.
We stagedoored afterwards, and got autographs from Andrew (Robert), Elizabeth (Francesca), Mary (Marge), and Trista Moldovan (Francesca u/s). Andrew was the first to come out, and he was SO polite. My sister was already in love with him as Phoebus in Hunchback, so she was literally shaking when she was trying to take a picture. He thanked us for coming and said he was flattered we enjoyed the show and he was just super sweet. We got pictures with him but I’m not gonna post them here. Mary came next and said that no one ever recognized her as Marge, but since our seats were so close I recognized her face. Trista was next and she asked to sign our playbills. I should have told her I knew who she was but I didn’t want to be creepy. Last was Elizabeth, and she was such a cutie and such a sweetheart. She thanked us for coming and was glad we enjoyed the show. We took pictures and told her we were sad that the show is closing, and she said that she’s sad too but that it’s time for it to close.