‘Bright Star’ is a Holiday Play Full of Bluegrass Cheer

Carmen Cusack stars in Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s musical 'Bright Star'

Carmen Cusack stars in Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s musical 'Bright Star' (Photo: Craig Schwartz/Bright Star)

A good holiday show should be uplifting and have an optimistic view of humankind, which is not an easy task in a year full of trauma (like this one). But the Tony-nominated Bright Star succeeds. This comic melodrama, set in the Blue Ridge of North Carolina after World War II, is set to charming bluegrass-ish songs by Edie Brickell and Steve Martin, and its solid story line even has a happy ending, despite how dark it gets. Carmen Cusack, who starred in the short-lived Broadway production, is terrific as the heroine who loses her child but achieves literary fame. My co-host Jeffrey Edalatpour says he had trouble checking his cynicism at the theater door, but I thought it was terrific entertainment. One nagging issue, Bright Star offers not one African American role, despite its southeastern setting. Details here.

‘Bright Star’ is a Holiday Play Full of Bluegrass Cheer 6 December,2017Cy Musiker

Author

Cy Musiker

Cy Musiker co-hosts The Do List and covers the arts for KQED News and The California Report.  He loves live performance, especially great theater, jazz, roots music, anything by Mahler. Cy has an MJ from UC Berkeley’s School of Journalism, and got his BA from Hampshire College. His work has been recognized by the Society for Professional Journalists with their Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service in Journalism. When he can, Cy likes to swim in Tomales Bay, run with his dog in the East Bay Hills, and hike the Sierra.

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