Bright Star

Critics

LemonMeter

Reviews: 2

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 1

Thu Oct 17, 8:00pm
Fri Oct 18, 8:00pm
Sat Oct 19, 8:00pm
Sun Oct 20, 2:00pm

From Grammy, Emmy and Academy Award-winning Steve Martin & Grammy Award – winning Edie Brickell, Bright Star tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ‘40s.
When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past – and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives. Propelled by an ensemble of onstage musicians and dancers, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies and powerfully moving performances. An uplifting theatrical journey that holds you tight in its grasp, Bright Star is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful.

Reviews

Avatar

Went to this musical not knowing the plot. Being written by a comedian I expected something funny. However that was not the case. During this play they act out a premeditated murder of a BABY. The character plans and carries out his plan to murder a infant child after duping the teen mothers family to get it from them. I was horrified at what I saw. The main plot is a teenage pregnancy. And one of the songs proudly states "I like hard liquor it hits me quicker". This is not a family appropriate musical. I've been to A LOT of musicals over my life. From professional performer all the way down to middle school children. This was the FIRST I have ever gotten up and walked out of before the end. Not due to poor acting but the content material in the script was so horrible. Extremely disappointed.

sour - Thaniel Smith


Thomas deMartino

The One More Productions troupe at the Gem Theater is renowned for much of their work, often staging classic and well-beloved musicals: but now and again, they take a chance on something new and relatively unknown, to share with a wider audience. Unfortunately, that can translate into empty seats, as the public is hesitant to take a chance on an unfamiliar show.
This, however, is one to take that chance on.
Written by comedic legend (and local boy) Steve Martin and singer/songwriter Edie Brickell, and directed by Damien Lorton, "Bright Star" is a beautiful and uplifting production, with a special charm and authenticity. Whether familiar with bluegrass music or not, viewers won't be able to help tapping their feet or clapping their hands to some of the rousing numbers, courtesy of the phenomenal work of the band (making use of such diverse instruments as fiddle, mandolin, banjo and standing bass.)
There are a number of both touching and moving musical numbers, including the aforementioned "She's Gone", "I Had A Vision", "So Familiar" and "If You Knew My Story" (the show's opener); with a gripping story that pulls the viewer in, capturing a true spirit of Americana; and a fascinating juxtaposition between two parallel love stories in two separate eras.
Stand-out performances abound -- there's Nick Seigel as the young Alice's devoted beau Jimmy (with a stellar performance of "Heartbreaker"); Kelly Rosales as Margo, acting as the sounding board for Billy and his writing, but longing for him to recognize her as more than just the girl he grew up with; and Brandon Taylor Jones as Billy, a young man trying to find his place in the world -- pursuing his dreams, wherever they may lead.
Particular note should be made of Ryan Addison as Mayor Dobbs: a powerful, imposing presence, both in his singing and his depth of character; while it may be simpler to attribute his overbearing manner and actions to a flawed persona, Addison offers a brief, strangely sympathetic glimpse into his motivations.
But as one might expect, Nicole Cassesso continues to remain the scintillating jewel in the Gem's crown.
She has already clearly established her considerable skills with the country genre in the Gem Theater fan-favorite "Always, Patsy Cline": now, in "Bright Star", Cassesso once again demonstrates her remarkable vocal range -- this time, in the Bluegrass style -- as well as her ability to offer the viewer an intense, soulful interpretation of character.
In her portrayal of Alice -- both as young and vivacious, as well as older, more restrained, even haunted -- we see an organic, determined progression of character; as she strives to transcend her life's tragedies and challenges, as best she can.
"Bright Star" is bold, fresh, and that "something new" that so many might clamor for; and for those who might feel unsure about an unfamiliar musical, that's not one of the standard classics -- this is the show worth taking your chance on.

sweet - Thom deMartino - Orange County Tribune - ...read full review


Leo Buck

If the goal of theater is to make one feel and be affected by what they’re seeing and experiencing, the gang at “One More Productions” have certainly succeeded in spades as “Bright Star” is sure to be counted among their grandest productions to date that can lay claim to exactly this phenomenon—this is what magnificent musicals are all about!

sweet - Leo Buck - Bucking Trends - ...read full review


Thomas deMartino

The One More Productions troupe at the Gem Theater is renowned for much of their work, often staging classic and well-beloved musicals: but now and again, they take a chance on something new and relatively unknown, to share with a wider audience. Unfortunately, that can translate into empty seats, as the public is hesitant to take a chance on an unfamiliar show.
This, however, is one to take that chance on.
Written by comedic legend (and local boy) Steve Martin and singer/songwriter Edie Brickell, and directed by Damien Lorton, "Bright Star" is a beautiful and uplifting production, with a special charm and authenticity. Whether familiar with bluegrass music or not, viewers won't be able to help tapping their feet or clapping their hands to some of the rousing numbers, courtesy of the phenomenal work of the band (making use of such diverse instruments as fiddle, mandolin, banjo and standing bass.)
There are a number of both touching and moving musical numbers, including the aforementioned "She's Gone", "I Had A Vision", "So Familiar" and "If You Knew My Story" (the show's opener); with a gripping story that pulls the viewer in, capturing a true spirit of Americana; and a fascinating juxtaposition between two parallel love stories in two separate eras.
Stand-out performances abound -- there's Nick Seigel as the young Alice's devoted beau Jimmy (with a stellar performance of "Heartbreaker"); Kelly Rosales as Margo, acting as the sounding board for Billy and his writing, but longing for him to recognize her as more than just the girl he grew up with; and Brandon Taylor Jones as Billy, a young man trying to find his place in the world -- pursuing his dreams, wherever they may lead.
Particular note should be made of Ryan Addison as Mayor Dobbs: a powerful, imposing presence, both in his singing and his depth of character; while it may be simpler to attribute his overbearing manner and actions to a flawed persona, Addison offers a brief, strangely sympathetic glimpse into his motivations.
But as one might expect, Nicole Cassesso continues to remain the scintillating jewel in the Gem's crown.
She has already clearly established her considerable skills with the country genre in the Gem Theater fan-favorite "Always, Patsy Cline": now, in "Bright Star", Cassesso once again demonstrates her remarkable vocal range -- this time, in the Bluegrass style -- as well as her ability to offer the viewer an intense, soulful interpretation of character.
In her portrayal of Alice -- both as young and vivacious, as well as older, more restrained, even haunted -- we see an organic, determined progression of character; as she strives to transcend her life's tragedies and challenges, as best she can.
"Bright Star" is bold, fresh, and that "something new" that so many might clamor for; and for those who might feel unsure about an unfamiliar musical, that's not one of the standard classics -- this is the show worth taking your chance on.

sweet - Thom deMartino - Orange County Tribune - ...read full review


Leo Buck

If the goal of theater is to make one feel and be affected by what they’re seeing and experiencing, the gang at “One More Productions” have certainly succeeded in spades as “Bright Star” is sure to be counted among their grandest productions to date that can lay claim to exactly this phenomenon—this is what magnificent musicals are all about!

sweet - Leo Buck - Bucking Trends - ...read full review


Avatar

Went to this musical not knowing the plot. Being written by a comedian I expected something funny. However that was not the case. During this play they act out a premeditated murder of a BABY. The character plans and carries out his plan to murder a infant child after duping the teen mothers family to get it from them. I was horrified at what I saw. The main plot is a teenage pregnancy. And one of the songs proudly states "I like hard liquor it hits me quicker". This is not a family appropriate musical. I've been to A LOT of musicals over my life. From professional performer all the way down to middle school children. This was the FIRST I have ever gotten up and walked out of before the end. Not due to poor acting but the content material in the script was so horrible. Extremely disappointed.

sour - Thaniel Smith