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Bright star

Brooks0214
Understudy
joined:4/9/18
Understudy
joined:
4/9/18
Bright star #1
Posted: 10/11/19 at 12:54am
Curious as to what everyones opinion is on bright star? I just saw a production of it tonight so Im just wanting to talk about it now!! Was it well received ? Do you all like it or not? Why ?
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Melissa25
Broadway Star
joined:5/20/12
Broadway Star
joined:
5/20/12
Bright star #2
Posted: 10/11/19 at 6:21am

Loved Bright Star especially Carmen Cusack and the staging. Here are the preview and review threads.

https://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?page=2&thread=1090526

https://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?thread=1091273

 

magictodo123
Broadway Legend
joined:3/18/19
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/18/19
Bright star #3
Posted: 10/11/19 at 7:13am

I thought Carmen Cusack was an absolute star (no pun intended), and I loved a lot of the music, but I did think it dragged a little bit. There were slow moments, but I thought it was also beautifully staged, the supporting cast was fantastic. I was looking it up a while ago and discovered that it was an NY Times Critics Pick! https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/25/theater/review-bright-star-beams-nostalgia-underscored-by-fiddles-and-banjos.html

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spiderdj82
Broadway Legend
joined:6/24/04
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/24/04
Bright star #4
Posted: 10/11/19 at 9:21am

I saw the show on whim in NYC when my friends wanted to rush the matinee show of "Bright Star" before the evening performance of "Tuck Everlasting" that we were in the city to see.  I didn't even know what it was about and when I found out that it was bluegrass musical written by Steve Martin, I was not that excited.  But, then the houselights went down and I fell in love with everything about the show.   Side note - "Tuck Everlasting" was complete garbage. 

Luckily, a theatre near me did "Bright Star" at the beginning of this year and I got to play Jimmy Ray which made me fall in love with the show even more than I had before.   I hate that it didn't get the love it deserved at the time but new life is being breathed into it now community theatres are getting a hold of it. 

"They're eating her and then they're going to eat me. OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!" -Troll 2
musicaltheatrechick
Understudy
joined:8/17/15
Understudy
joined:
8/17/15
Bright star #5
Posted: 10/11/19 at 9:41am

I saw it on tour and fell in love with it. I love bluegrass music though- so it’s right up my alley. It’s one of the recordings I listen to frequently. Such an underrated gem. 

Updated On: 10/11/19 at 09:41 AM
SouthernCakes
Broadway Legend
joined:7/29/19
Broadway Legend
joined:
7/29/19
Bright star #6
Posted: 10/11/19 at 1:34pm
Still listen to it! It’s a gem! It could def use another pass through lyrically but I love it. “I can’t wait” is such a gorgeous song.
Brooks0214
Understudy
joined:4/9/18
Understudy
joined:
4/9/18
Bright star #7
Posted: 10/11/19 at 6:15pm

spiderdj82 said: "I saw the show on whim in NYC when my friends wanted to rush the matinee show of "Bright Star"before the evening performance of "Tuck Everlasting" that we were in the city to see. I didn't even know what it was about and when I found out that it was bluegrass musical written by Steve Martin, I was not that excited. But, then the houselights went down and I fell in love with everything about the show. Side note - "Tuck Everlasting" was complete garbage.

Luckily, a theatre near me did "Bright Star" at the beginning of this year and I got to play Jimmy Ray which made me fall in love with the show even more than I had before. I hate that it didn't get the love it deserved at the time but new life is being breathed into it now community theatres are getting a hold of it.
"

I LOVE Tuck Everlasting, it’s a really fun show to me and it’s just one of those that you love a lot and aren’t sure why? Glad you got to see Bright Star though and enjoyed it 

Brooks0214
Understudy
joined:4/9/18
Understudy
joined:
4/9/18
Bright star #8
Posted: 10/11/19 at 6:16pm

spiderdj82 said: "I saw the show on whim in NYC when my friends wanted to rush the matinee show of "Bright Star"before the evening performance of "Tuck Everlasting" that we were in the city to see. I didn't even know what it was about and when I found out that it was bluegrass musical written by Steve Martin, I was not that excited. But, then the houselights went down and I fell in love with everything about the show. Side note - "Tuck Everlasting" was complete garbage.

Luckily, a theatre near me did "Bright Star" at the beginning of this year and I got to play Jimmy Ray which made me fall in love with the show even more than I had before. I hate that it didn't get the love it deserved at the time but new life is being breathed into it now community theatres are getting a hold of it.
"

I LOVE Tuck Everlasting, it’s a really fun show to me and it’s just one of those that you love a lot and aren’t sure why? Glad you got to see Bright Star though and enjoyed it 

Brooks0214
Understudy
joined:4/9/18
Understudy
joined:
4/9/18
Bright star #9
Posted: 10/11/19 at 6:17pm

Thank you very much for this!! I also think Carmen was outstanding in this role, really a perfect character for her!

Melissa25 said: "Loved Bright Star especially Carmen Cusack and the staging. Here are the preview and review threads.

https://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?page=2&thread=1090526

https://www.broadwayworld.com/board/readmessage.php?thread=1091273


"

 

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reginula
Featured Actor
joined:4/6/17
Featured Actor
joined:
4/6/17
Bright star #10
Posted: 10/11/19 at 6:27pm

Love it! It closed long before I fell in love with it, but I was lucky to catch it on tour. It's not perfect, but the score is gorgeous –I love folk music, so it was right up my alley– and Carmen Cusack is a powerhouse. I think it was generally well received but I guess opening on the same season as Hamilton didn't help it.

amaklo
Stand-by
joined:5/2/15
Stand-by
joined:
5/2/15
Bright star #11
Posted: 10/11/19 at 9:10pm

I saw a production by a local theater company and enjoyed it.  Good story, good songs, and the lead female role is really powerful.  It might be better suited to a small theater than an 1100 seat Broadway house.

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dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/4/07
Bright star #12
Posted: 10/11/19 at 9:18pm
I loved Carmen. I liked the rest, but it was beyond predictable.
If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/10/12
Bright star #13
Posted: 10/11/19 at 10:32pm

dramamama611 said: "I loved Carmen. I liked the rest, but it was beyond predictable."

I agree completely but have to add it was not just predictable, but dramaturgically manipulative to a horrendous degree.

Like all the other throwing-babies-from-a-train musicals, its tone--alternating dead baby serious scenes (there is a separate scene for each person who learns about the baby's demise) with comic scenes set in the present--was enough to make viewers schizophrenic.

Yes, I know many viewers didn't mind, but I have to question not just their taste but their humanity. Throwing the baby from the train at the end of Act I and then opening Act II with a light-hearted ditty featuring the band was one of the most "What the hell were they thinking?" moments I have seen in musical theater.

To be clear, it's not that a musical can't deal with infanticide. It is the way the subject is dramatized (and re-dramatized and re-re-dramatized) in BRIGHT STAR to which I object.

That said, I like the score and I, too, play it often. And I thought Carmen Cusack was a revelation! The first time she metamorphosed from her present-day, 40-year-old character to her 17-year-old character she was fully lit and center stage. Yes, the ensemble did her quick change for her, but it was the transformation of her face from middle-aged to teen-aged that was a master class in acting.

And, also, she sings like nobody else around!

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TheGingerBreadMan
Broadway Legend
joined:12/7/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/7/12
Bright star #14
Posted: 10/11/19 at 10:53pm
I think it’s a lovely show. I saw the tour as well as a local production and enjoyed it very much both times. Yes, it has flaws, especially in the book, but it’s a fun score and a heartwarming story. I’m not even a fan of bluegrass music - at all. It typically has the same effect on me as nails on a chalkboard. Something about this score works for me, however.
amaklo
Stand-by
joined:5/2/15
Stand-by
joined:
5/2/15
Bright star #15
Posted: 10/12/19 at 10:19am

GavestonPS said:

Yes, I know many viewers didn't mind, but I have to question not just their taste but their humanity. Throwing the baby from the train at the end of Act I and then opening Act II with a light-hearted ditty featuring the band was one of the most "What the hell were they thinking?" moments I have seen in musical theater.
 

You question the "taste" and "humanity" of people who enjoy this show?  Why can't we disagree about a show without throwing insults?  It's a story, for crying out loud. I liked it, and I assure you I don't condone infanticide.

JennH
Broadway Star
joined:11/14/13
Broadway Star
joined:
11/14/13
Bright star #16
Posted: 10/12/19 at 12:26pm

I saw the Broadway closing of this, and while it's imperfect, it's a breath of fresh air of a treasure. Carmen is obviously a damn star who needs an even better vehicle for her. Predictable yes, but someone said once that the predictability isn't for the audience itself, its to let us see how Alice comes to this conclusion herself. And for heavens sake, it doesn't condone infanticide AT ALL, it does the opposite actually...it's almost like it calls out the so called pro-lifers who claim to be all about protecting an unborn child but only when it aligns with their religious beliefs. And a child out of wedlock doesn't align with that. I'm not saying that to stir up trouble here, I'm saying it merely in reference to the show. 

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Anastasia_Beaverhausen
Broadway Star
joined:7/25/04
Broadway Star
joined:
7/25/04
Bright star #17
Posted: 10/12/19 at 2:23pm

I guess I'm alone here, but I hated it! Terrible book and score....  It's what I use to judge all shows I see now...even if it's bad, as long as it's #betterthanbrightstar I'm ok. :)

Updated On: 10/12/19 at 02:23 PM
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MaddieBB12
Broadway Star
joined:11/1/12
Broadway Star
joined:
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Bright Star #18
Posted: 10/12/19 at 4:40pm

I LOVE this show. I fell in love with it about a month too late, but I did get to see the reunion concert at Town Hall they did in December 2016, and that was wonderful. As others have stated, it's not perfect, but it's sweet, the score is different than what we usually hear on Broadway, the cast was AMAZING, and it would have been interesting to see what would have happened had the show opened a) in a different season, and b) in a different theatre (because the Cort is a little out of the way, and had it been at, say, the Booth or the Broadhurst, it may have gotten more visabilty!).

VintageSnarker
Broadway Legend
joined:1/30/15
Broadway Legend
joined:
1/30/15
Bright Star #19
Posted: 10/12/19 at 5:55pm

GavestonPS said: "Like all the other throwing-babies-from-a-train musicals, its tone--alternating dead baby serious scenes (there is a separate scene for each person who learns about the baby's demise) with comic scenes set in the present--was enough to make viewers schizophrenic."

There are OTHER throwing babies from a train musicals? Do share. 

I imagine I posted in whatever thread we had at the time but I found it highly flawed. It's Steve Martin so as expected there was a lot of humor in the book. But the jokes rested on the shaky foundation of the plot which was painfully unsophisticated. My biggest laugh of the night was the unintentional one as that damn suitcase drifted into the wings. The lyrics are incredibly trite and repetitive. "A man's gotta do, what a man's gotta do, when a man's gotta do, what he's got to." There were arguments at the time that this was in line with the bluegrass/country style of the show but I find that a very condescending take. I love country music and there's no reason simple lyrics have to be that dumb. Carmen was great but some bits were rough. I don't know if they needed another actress to play the younger version of the character or if those scenes were just not that well written. Paul Nolan was not as emotionally dynamic as he usually is. The frogs in the fog scene... I didn't have a terrible night out but I highly regretted paying full price for it. Again, the biggest problem is once you put the pieces together (which I did very early on) the story just drags as you wait for all the characters to figure out the secret. Also, that was the season of unnecessary choreography. The chorus was on stage way too often in scenes they didn't need to be in.

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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
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Bright Star #20
Posted: 10/12/19 at 9:22pm

amaklo said: "
You question the "taste" and "humanity" of people who enjoy this show? Why can't we disagree about a show without throwing insults? It's a story, for crying out loud. I liked it, and I assure you I don't condone infanticide."

Oh, good grief! I didn't say anything about the show condoning infanticide. I'm sure the writers had nothing of the sort in mind, nor that any spectator went home and killed his child.

What I am questioning is the writers' judgment and skill: juxtaposing a comic subplot (the young writer falling in love and finding his voice) with such a horrendous plot (the past in which a baby is apparently drowned like an unwanted litter of kittens) is an impossible mix. I really have to question the degree of emotional involvement of those who found it charming, if they are able to forget about the dead baby every time the tempo picked up for a couple of minutes.

It's as if Medea killed her children and then danced the two-step. And then did both all over several times.

It's one thing to put ONE scene of comic relief in the middle of MACBETH, as Shakespeare does; it's quite another to juxtapose humorous scenes with wrenching a newborn from its mother and throwing it into a river.

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GavestonPS
Broadway Legend
joined:6/10/12
Broadway Legend
joined:
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Bright Star #21
Posted: 10/12/19 at 9:24pm

amaklo said: "
You question the "taste" and "humanity" of people who enjoy this show? Why can't we disagree about a show without throwing insults? It's a story, for crying out loud. I liked it, and I assure you I don't condone infanticide."

Oh, good grief! I didn't say anything about the show condoning infanticide. I'm sure the writers had nothing of the sort in mind, nor that any spectator went home and killed his child.

What I am questioning is the writers' judgment and skill: juxtaposing a comic subplot (the young writer falling in love and finding his voice) with such a horrendous plot (the past in which a baby is apparently drowned like an unwanted litter of kittens) is an impossible mix. I really have to question the degree of emotional involvement of those who found it charming, if they are able to forget about the dead baby every time the tempo picked up for a couple of minutes.

It's as if Medea killed her children and then danced the two-step. And then did both all over several times.

It's one thing to put ONE scene of comic relief in the middle of MACBETH, as Shakespeare does; it's quite another to juxtapose humorous scenes with wrenching a newborn from its mother and throwing it into a river.

And trust me, I like my humor dark: Joe Orton and Christopher Durang are among my favorite playwrights. But not even they kill babies on stage, and once they find the humor in dark subjects, they don't stop to ask us to also cry about those subjects.