I can binge watch horror movies for days on end and still sleep at night, so when I tell you this newest Broadway show, Bright Star, had my emotions in knots, you know I mean it. Prepare for a roller coaster of emotions throughout this split time frame of unfortunate lovers growing up in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina as they tell their stories (and some they might want to forget). Maybe it’s the country girl in me, but the Southern charm and Bluegrass twang will move you, and also leave you a little uncomfortable. What does that mean? You might want to pack a kleenex.
Based on the book written by Martin and Bricknell together, plan to be transported back to the 1920s (my favorite!) and 1940s when life wasn’t quite as …accepting. As a journalist, I could relate to the sassy and smart (yet cold) editor of a prestigious literary journal, Alice Murphy, who has quite the story to tell. Journey back in time to when she herself was a girl in love who ended up pregnant out of wedlock to a boy who was due to inherit the successful family business. Jimmy Ray’s Mayor father and Alice’s puritan father both see damnation for the couple and plan to tear the lovers apart and take the newborn child away. As the story unfolds back into the 1940s, you’ll watch flawlessly as these two separate storylines flow into one and learn who this 19-year-old solider with a zest for writing turns out to be.
This is all eloquently staged though song, dance and a live bluegrass band on stage simply incased in a rustic wood cabin. While they are partially hidden and rotated around on stage, you won’t miss the beautiful harmony of guitar, banjo, violin (or fiddle, as we called it back home), accordion, piano and drums laying the baseline of the story in front of you.
Overall: It should be on your list of shows for the summer. It’s a beautiful storyline that reminds you just why Broadway and live musicals are so powerful, teach us lessons, and also give a glimpse back in time.
Running Time: 2 Hours, 20 minutes (1 intermission)
Theater: Cort Theater, 138 W. 48th Street (Broadway), NY, NY
Dates: Now running in previews
Tickets: range from $75-$250 (book online here). Use code BSBLOG303 to grab tickets as low as $39 for performances thru 6/12!
Note, this is not a kid-friendly production. The show may not be appropriate for children under 12, and children 4 and under are not allowed in the theater.