Review: Bright Star

Bright Star might just be the most uplifting show currently on Broadway. My roommate Kimmy and I went and got rush tickets yesterday morning for last night's show. I still can't quite believe that we paid just $30 for orchestra row C!

I don't want to give away too much, but the show is set in North Carolina in two different time periods: 1923 and 1945. There are two storylines interweaving around the character of Alice Murphy (brilliantly portrayed by Carmen Cusack). The first act ends with one of the most shocking moments I've ever seen on a Broadway stage. The resolution in the second act is fairly predictable, but heartwarming nonetheless. The music, if not particularly memorable, is unique for its bluegrass style. My personal favorite was definitely "Another Round," a hilarious dance tune about drinking.

After seeing the show, I definitely understand why it was nominated for a Tony for Best Musical and it's clear that Carmen Cusack deserved her nomination for Best Actress. While her vocals are flawless, it was her acting that stood out to me. She had me in tears three separate times! I also have to mention that she was so lovely at stage door and just a ray of sunshine.

I honestly don't know what my face is doing.
Another standout performance was A.J. Shively as Billy, a young man who has returned from World War II and wants to pursue a career as a writer. With a lovely voice and believable acting, he stood out amongst the cast. His comedic timing was also on point and he was suitably adorable in his romantic scenes with Margo.

The main reason that I wanted to see Bright Star was because of Paul Alexander Nolan, who stars as Jimmy, Alice's love interest. I absolutely adore Paul on the Daddy Long Legs and the Doctor Zhivago cast albums, so I wanted to see him in person. How do I even describe how wonderful Paul was? His voice is stunning and he was just so charming.

We also had a nice chat at stage door about Daddy Long Legs, which I think surprised him a bit. He even told us a bit of trivia about our favorite song from that show, "My Manhattan"!

Sadly, the news that Bright Star is closing on June 26 came out while we were at the show. If you can possibly get to the show before then, I would highly recommend it. The bluegrass music has a great bounce to it, the cast are impeccable, and the show will rip your heart out only to put it back together again better than it was before. With everything that's been going on in the world these past few days, this show was exactly the inspiring message that I needed to see.
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