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  • Don Ford

Don Reviews "Bright Star"


Generation gaps have been a discussion a long time. Growing up in Montana and Wyoming (which are not known as traditionally metropolitan areas), there are still a lot of traits of the small town, country lifestyle from of holding the door for a lady, being respectful to elders, and ore. Life was simple and slow versus the fast paced lives of today.

“Bright Star” was written by Steve Martin with music by Edie Brickell, and the current touring company stars Audrey Caldwell as Alice Murphy, Henry Gottfried as Billy Cane, David Atkinson as Daddy Cane, Liana Hunt as Margo, Patrick Cummings as Jimmy Ray Dobbs, Jeff Austin as Mayor Dobbs, John Leslie Wolfe as Daddy Murphy, Allison Briner-Dardenne as Mama Murphy, Jeff BlumenKrantz as Daryl Ames and Kaitlyn Davidson as Lucy Gant. Based on a true story that takes place both in the '20s and '40s in North Carolina, Billy has come home from the war, and with help from Margo (Who has a crush on him), he submits some stories to be published in a popular literary magazine called “The Ashville Southern Journal”. While there, he meets Alice, who is the editor of the magazine and is a real stickler. Once Alice is introduced, the story then flashes back to her younger days, focusing on the romance between Alice and Jimmy Ray, who is son of an affluent family where his father is the Mayor, and some of the consequences of everyone's actions.

The live band basically plays in what is basically the frame of a wooden shed, which doubles as a set piece and helps with the transitions from scene to scene, really helping me feel like I was on the journey with them. The lighting really helped in the mood , especially with sets that are simple but very effective. When it came to the music and singing, I truly liked the band, playing music that reminded me of a band at a county fair. The singing itself was good, but I actually liked the music more, which was truly impressive.

I see no Tony worthy performances here, but the leads do a very good job with my shout out to Jeff Blumenkrantz, whose comedic timing as Daryl, a sassy employee for the Journal, added to the overall performances. When it comes to the story line, it was a little long and may get complicated, as it leads with Billy but makes it more of a story of Alice taking the long way around to get to the big reveal. (In fact, some may feel that the big ending may be a bit too obvious by the intermission.) Overall, I did enjoy "Bright Star" and will recommend the production as 2nd level seating.

#BrightStar #SteveMartin #EdieBrickell #ATTPerformingArtsCenter #WinspearOperaHouse #Musicals