March 31, 2016
By Dr. Leonard Golubchck, LaborPress Entertainment Editor
New York, NY – Bright Star is a new musical featuring Bluegrass Music with book and lyrics by Steve Martin and music and lyrics by Edie Brickell. The show moves quickly under the creative direction of Walter Bobbie. The lead first time on Broadway) is Carmen Cusack who provides us with a charismatic and energetic performance. Her love interest is Paul Alexander Nolan a more than adequate performance as Jimmy Ray Dobbs.
The story spans two time periods 1923 and 1945. The setting is the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. In 1923 and Ashville North Carolina in 1945. The main protagonist is Alice Murphy (Ms. Cusack) who falls in live with Jimmy Ray Dobbs (Mr. Nolan) and becomes pregnant. Jimmy’s father who is the Mayor of the town and is quite parochial and puritanical his belief’s.. When Alice gives birth to a boy the father takes the baby on a train and throws the baby off., but the baby survives. We progress to 1945 and the baby is a returning soldier( played well by A>J> Shively) from World War II and wants to become a successful writer. The editor of a literary journal. Is no other than Alice Murphy (his Mother). IT is clear that the plot is quirky and uneven. But stays with the theme that love triumphs.
The sweat Bluegrass music is a treat particularly for those who are unfamiliar with this musical delightful form. The music adds a nostalgic charm and melody to the show which is memorable.