BROADWAY BUZZ | BRIGHT STAR / by Brackett Bilodeau

Image courtesy of Variety

Image courtesy of Variety

From Grammy-winning duo Steve Martin and Edie Brickell comes Broadway’s newest genre, Bluegrass Musical. Set in rural North Carolina during the ‘20s and ‘40s, Bright Star follows the duality of successful literary editor Alice Murphy (Carmen Cusack), first as a rebellious teenager in love and ultimately as a cold, closed-off 30-something on her journey through a difficult time. With an impressive résumé in London, Chicago, and Melbourne, Cusack makes an awe-inspiring debut on the Broadway stage.

The supporting cast delivers an equally stunning performance against a live onstage soundtrack, flawlessly incorporating a bluegrass twang into Broadway vocals. Opposite Cusack, Paul Alexander Nolan demonstrates incredible talent as a vocal chameleon in the role of Jimmy Ray, the romantic lead with a father (Michael Mulheren) who selfishly wants him to follow in his footsteps as Mayor.

The set features extraordinary design by Eugene Lee, (Amazing Grace, Wicked, Seussical), spotlighting a slightly deconstructed cabin, housing members of the band and serving as a hub for entrances, exits, quick changes, and various set pieces while 19-time Tony nominee Jane Greenwood commandeers the light, airy North Carolina summer garb.

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