DC50’s Robin Hamilton Catches a Comedian’s Bright Star

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Photo Courtesy Joan Marcus

When people hear the name Steve Martin, many of us think comedy – SNL, movies, etc., and not bluegrass music….I know that was true for me.

Photo Courtesy of New York Times

Photo Courtesy of New York Times

However, Martin uses this genre as the backbone of the musical he developed with singer Edie Brickell, to create Bright Star.

Bright Star tells two parallel stories of an ambitious newspaper editor Alice Murphy (played by Carmen Cusack) and an aspiring writer Billy Cane (A.J. Shively) and how their lives end up connecting.

Photo Courtesy of Joan Marcus

Photo Courtesy of Joan Marcus

The story, based in 1944 in North Carolina, immerses itself in bluegrass, thanks in no small part to the musicians on stage and in the rafters. They seamlessly become part of the story too.

The music is heavy on violin and banjo (an instrument Martin plays himself) accompanied by folksy lyrics by Edie Brickell.

Bright Star is in a limited run, playing at the Kennedy Center’s Eisenhower Theatre through January 10th, before heading to Broadway.

For more information, you can go to www.kennedy-center.org.

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