'Bright Star' is a Holiday Play Full of Bluegrass Cheer

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.

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