The Entire Original Broadway Cast Will Be Joined by Creators Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
The original Broadway cast of the musical Bright Star is giving a concert at Town Hall in NYC this Monday, December 12, 2016. The concert will be livestreamed by the website Theatermania. There’s no information on how the livestreaming will work available yet. I’ll update this post if Theatermania updates before Monday night.
The musical Bright Star began previews on Broadway on February 25, 2016, running for 30 previews and 109 regular performances beforce closing on June 26, 2016. The show was nominated for five Tonys, including Best Musical, but if your name wasn’t Hamilton, your musical probably didn’t win many (or any) or Tonys this year. It’s now nominated for a 2017 Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.
This show is a sweet, quiet, romantic show that was never going to be able to keep up with the splashiness of Hamilton. With Waitress and Bright Star being similar shows, and both having their Broadway debuts this past spring, only one was going to survive. Sara Bareilles and Jessie Mueller are currently more popular than Steve Martin and Carmen Cusack, so Waitress won, but both are great shows*. If you like Waitress or Once, there’s a good chance you’d like Bright Star. The show has a gorgeous bluegrass score and a story that spans 3 generations. It takes place in North Carolina in the first half of the 20th century. The story involves love, trust, betrayal, secrets, family, identity, discovery and reconciliation. It reminds me of Tennessee Williams’ stories like Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and The Long Hot Summer, though without as much of an edge.
It probably would have done better staying Off-Broadway, like Daddy Long Legs, a similar (but much smaller) show that also starred Paul Alexander Nolan. I hope it eventually finds life in regional theaters around the country, because it’s so good that it deserves to be performed and seen.
I also think Bright Star would have done better had it used a different song in its promotional materials. They mainly featured the opening song, If You Knew My Story, I assume because it features the star, Carmen Cusack (Wicked), and doesn’t give away any of the surprises of the story. The song isn’t the best from the show and doesn’t do anything to draw the audience into the story. In the interest of enticing y’all to enjoy this show as much as I do, I’m posting a few songs from the soundtrack that I think would have been better ones to use for promotional appearances and videos. I’m including the performance of If You Knew My Story from The Tony Awards, too, because, why not?
Another Round, I Had a Vision, Bright Star, and Sun Is Gonna Shine
If You Knew My Story at the 2016 Tony Awards
*If you haven’t found a way to see Waitress yet, you’re missing out!