BRIGHT STAR Comes to Arrow Rock Lyceum This Week

Performances run September 29 - October 8.

By: Sep. 25, 2023
BRIGHT STAR Comes to Arrow Rock Lyceum This Week

BRIGHT STAR Comes to Arrow Rock Lyceum This Week

Steve Martin, known to the world as an actor and comedian, is equally renowned in bluegrass circles as a world-class musician. His collaboration with singer-songwriter Edie Brickell brought the poignant musical, Bright Star, to life. Bright Star, loosely based on the true Missouri story of the Iron Mountain Baby, features a Tony Award-nominated score. The show makes its Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre debut Sept. 29-Oct.8 with a phenomenal cast of actor-musicians who play 16 different instruments live on stage, creating a live theatre piece and concert all rolled into one.

The musical tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the 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 life she lost. Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past-and what she finds has the power to transform both their lives. With beautiful bluegrass melodies and powerfully moving characters, Bright Star unfolds as an uplifting and nostalgic theatrical journey performed by a gifted cast of actor/musicians.

Kimberly Doreen Burns makes her Lyceum debut as the resilient Alice Murphy. Kimberly is an award-winning singer, actor, performer, and educator who originated the role of Maya in the New York City premiere of Sideways. She's performed at Lincoln Center, Town Hall, Signature Theatre, Lucille Lortel Theatre, and she sang at the Irish Repertory Theatre's 30th Anniversary Gala honoring former President Bill Clinton. Kimberly was a soloist at the Sondheim at Seven Gala honoring composer/lyricist Stephen Sondheim and was seen on NBC's TV show The Blacklist. Sam Sherwood plays the role of Jimmy Ray and serves as associate music director for the production. He previously performed at the Lyceum in Ring of Fire and was music director for Elvis:The Musical. His New York credits include Woody Sez at the Irish Repertory Theatre, and he has appeared regionally in Escape to Margaritaville, Almost Heaven, Godspell, Pump Boys & Dinettes, and the world premiere of Million Dollar Quartet Christmas.

Scott Wakefield, who plays Daddy Murphy, has appeared on Broadway in It Ain't Nothin' but the Blues, Ring of Fire, and Hands on a Hardbody. His off-Broadway work includes roles in Texas in Paris, The Hello Girls, The Joy Luck Club, Paint Your Wagon, and others. An avid singer and songwriter, Scott has recorded two acclaimed albums of original music. Mama Murphy is portrayed by Marcy McGuigan, who previously appeared at the Lyceum in Swingtime Canteen, Hairspray, and Annie. She recently appeared in regional productions of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, Steel Magnolias, Sister Act, and Last Ship to Proxima Centauri. Jim Ballard plays the roles of Daddy Cane and Mayor Dobbs. Jim has been seen in stage, film, and TV productions across the country and around the world, including the national and international Asian tours of The Sound of Music, and in numerous productions of Mamma Mia! His television roles include appearances in The Good Fight, Army Wives, and Burn Notice. He can be seen in the upcoming Bad Monkey with Vince Vaughn on Apple TV.

Morgan Morse makes his first appearance at the Lyceum in the role of Billy Cane. Morgan's credits include Southern Comfort, Once, Godspell, Stand by Your Man, and Ring of Fire. He co-wrote the music and acted in a new play: The Porch on Windy Hill. Another Lyceum newcomer, Margaret Dudasik, plays Margo. She was in the national tour of Roundabout Theatre Company's production of Cabaret and has appeared off-Broadway in A Child's Christmas in Wales. Her regional credits include Million Dollar Quartet Christmas, Once, and Smoke on the Mountain. She is an accomplished Irish fiddle and tin whistle player and has represented the United States at the Fleadh Cheoil World Championships seven times.

Rounding out the cast are Patrick Blindauer, who previously appeared at the Lyceum in Seussical and A Year with Frog and Toad. He appeared in A Beautiful Mind, in seven episodes of Strangers with Candy, and in numerous regional productions. He is also a crossword puzzle creator whose work has appeared in The New York Times. It has been nearly 10 years since Nyssa Grant last performed in Arrow Rock. A talented violinist, Nyssa works and records around the country as an actor-musician and was a member of the national touring company for Once. Jason Cohen, who performs on stage and serves as the production's music director, is used to wearing multiple hats, including actor, director, writer, musical director, and multi-instrumentalist. His production company, Emmett Productions, has presented the theatrical concert Great Balls of Fire around the country.

Also appearing on stage are musicians Isaac Foley and Wesley Unruh. Isaac is a multi-instrumentalist from Columbia, Missouri. He performs music in many different groups including, most recently, The Missouri Symphony, The Theatre Workshop of Nantucket, The Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre, The Odyssey Chamber Music Series, and the "We Always Swing" Jazz series. Wesley is a composer and cellist based in Kansas. His music is inspired by the nature of humankind, our environment, and the modern world. He is a founding member of interdisciplinary improvisation groups including the Amorphous Collective and The Spirit of Breno.

The Lyceum's Producing Artistic Director Quin Gresham directs this production of Bright Star. This year marks Quin's 19th season in Arrow Rock. In previous seasons, he has directed Murder on the Orient Express, Rodgers & Hammerstein's Cinderella, A Christmas Carol, The Hound of the Baskervilles, Cotton Patch Gospel, and many other shows. He is the recipient of the Missouri Arts Council's Award for Leadership in the Arts.

The production team also includes Choreographer Sam Hay, Scenic Designer Ryan J. Zirngibl, Costume Designer Garth Dunbar, Lighting Designer Christopher Brusberg, Sound Designer Jon Robertson, Associate Sound Designer Gianna Agostino, Production Stage Manager Tony Dearing, and Assistant Stage Manager Lauren Young.

This production is rated PG. Single tickets for Bright Star are $45 for adults, with senior, student/child, and public safety discounts available. Show dates are Sept. 29-Oct. 8. Evening performances begin at 7:30 p.m. and matinees begin at 2 p.m. For tickets, visit or call 660-837-3311.

The Arrow Rock Lyceum Theatre is a nonprofit 501(c)(3), professional theater located in the historic 19th-century village of Arrow Rock, Missouri. The Lyceum has been entertaining audiences for more than six decades, producing musicals, dramas, and comedies. Each year, this 416-seat theater attracts professional actors, designers, stage managers, directors, and technicians who take residence in Arrow Rock to bring patrons Broadway-caliber productions.

The Lyceum Theatre is affiliated with Actors' Equity Association and United Scenic Artists. The director and choreographer are members of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society.

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