Oklahoma native Kelli O’Hara has earned her fifth Tony Award nomination, for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical for playing Francesca in the Broadway adaptation of “The Bridges of Madison County.”
O’Hara, 38, was born in Elk City and raised in Edmond, has previously been nominated for Best Actress in a Musical for her work in “The Pajama Game,” “South Pacific,” and “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” Her first nomination was for her featured role in “The Light in the Piazza.”
“The Bridges of Madison County” reunites O’Hara with director Bartlett Sher, who previously directed her in “The Light in the Piazza” and “South Pacific” on Broadway.
“The Bridges of Madison County” also earned Tony nods for best score and orchestrations – both for Jason Robert Brown – and best lighting design of a musical for Donald Holder.
Based on Robert Waller’s 1992 best-selling novel, which is set in the 1960s, the musical stars O’Hara as a devoted Italian-American Iowa farm wife who embarks on an unlikely love affair with a National Geographic photographer in the area to shoot its famed covered bridges. Steven Pasquale co-stars opposite O’Hara as the photographer; the musical’s book is by Marsha Norman. (Meryl Streep and Clint Eastwood co-starred in the 1995 film version, which Eastwood also directed.)
The Tony Awards will air live from Radio City Music Hall in New York City June 8 on CBS. Hugh Jackman will host the show.
Here are some highlights from O’Hara’s nominated performance in “The Bridges of Madison County”: