Bright Star

BRIGHT STAR is a new american musical created by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell.  The show takes place in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina between 1923 and 1945.  Billy Cane is a young soldier who is fresh out of war.  He aspires to be a writer and meets Alice Murphy, an editor of a southern literary journal.  They both discover a secret that changes their lives.

The blue grass band was absolutely divine.  Their sound was superb and the orchestration was lovely.  The lighting and sound design was impeccable as well.  Carmen Cusack who played Alice Murphy was strong, powerful and commanded the stage.  Hannah Elless who played Margo Crawford played a sweet, innocent girl.  Her voice was soft ad melodious.

I applaud The Old Globe for producing new work.  Writing a fresh story and adding music that is unknown, is difficult.  However, there are many kinks in the show that need to be ironed out if it is Broadway bound.  With close to twenty songs, it was overbearing.  There was far too much talk-singing and not enough raw emotion being displayed.  The act one finale was so abrupt and raw, the audience was unsure to clap or gasp.

The “bright star” in my opinion was when there were company numbers such as “Whaddya Say, Jimmy Ray?/By Your Side” and “Sun’s Gonna Shine”.  BRIGHT STAR is off to a good start.  With some re-working of the songs and script, there is potential for it to have a life after The Old Globe.

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