All the stars aligned when I was offered a complimentary pair of tickets to review Bright Star with less than 24 hours notice. My baby-sitter was available and my husband and my calendar were clear.
I went in knowing nothing else about the play except that it was written by Steve Martin and Eddie Brickell was also involved in it. I had read Martin’s book Object of Beauty back in 2010, as well as saw the film Shop Girl that he wrote and starred in so I expected a good story.
According to tdf stages (which I don’t recommend reading beforehand unless you want spoilers), “The feelings are intense – and the bluegrass score evokes grief, loss, and hope – but there’s no time for wallowing.” I generally don’t like musicals, but these songs helped tell the story. To me this was a turn-of-the-century soap opera and we all know how much I loved my daytime TV shows.
The show opens up with the musical number “If You Knew My Story.” Martin and Bicknell previously collaborated on the roots-rock albums “Love Has Come For You” and “So Familiar.” “Whoa, Mama” and “I Can’t Wait” were my two favorite musical numbers in the play.
Inspired by an astonishing true event, the wholly original new musical Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and 40s.
When successful literary editor Alice Murphy meets an ambitious young soldier just home from World War II, their connection inspires Alice to confront a shocking incident from her past. Together they discover a long-buried secret with the power to transform their lives.
From Grammy® and Emmy® winner Steve Martin and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Edie Brickell comes this hopeful and heart-swelling new musical, directed by Tony® winner Walter Bobbie.
Bright Stars has everything going for it. Strong cast, catchy tunes, well choreographed and some humorous lines mixed in to bring some lightness to it. There’s romance and the leads have chemistry. There’s lots of movement to keep viewers entertained and focused.
According to Telecharge, “Propelled by an ensemble of onstage musicians and dancers, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies and powerfully moving performances. An uplifting theatrical journey that holds you tight in its grasp, Bright Star is something rare — a Broadway musical that’s as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful.”
The model locomotive running on tracks high above the audience made me think of the toy train at Tumult’s Pub, a local restaurant in New Brunswick, NJ and went to frequently with my family growing up. The rotating cabin containing the show’s house bluegrass band was charming.
MONDAY thru SATURDAY @ 8 PM
WEDNESDAY & SATURDAY @ 2 PM
Disclaimer: I did receive a complimentary pair of tickets, but as always, all opinions expressed are 100% my own.