Bright Star from Steve & Edie

Steve Martin & Edie BrickellSteve Martin likes to joke when accused of being a Renaissance man that he would have to be 500 years old for that to be true. So that’s out. And while the term dilettante used to be used to describe someone who had expertise in a variety of fields, it has taken on something of a derisive tone in modern days. Scratch that. Even “jack of all trades” carries with it the unspoken rejoinder, “master of none.” No go there, either.

So what do you call someone who has risen to the top of multiple artistic disciplines, with accolades and awards in music, comedy, film, television, stage and art criticism? I guess we’re stuck with calling him Steve Martin.

He’s been in the news again this past few weeks as his latest recording, Love Will Come For You, an album of co-written material with Edie Brickell, was released on April 23. But it turns out that their collaboration went deeper than this one project. In the planning stages for 2014 is Bright Star, a stage musical Martin and Brickell wrote which will include a few of the songs from this new record.

The one sentence synopsis, or log line, for the play tells us…

An editor of a southern journal discover a powerful truth about her past through the eyes of a young writer.

A casting notice appeared last week at where we first heard about the play, which indicated that it will have a bluegrass score.

Steve shared a few more details about Bright Star, saying that the casting notice is for a workshop this summer with Lukas Pool playing banjo.

Steve Martin“The story is set in North Carolina in 1945, and jumps back to 1922 to reveal a woman’s true past. The director will be Walter Bobbie who directed Chicago on Broadway.

We’ve got about 23 songs in it, all written on banjo with Edie doing lyrics. Not all the songs will feature banjo; a lot will have strings, a full orchestra sound.

It’s a big adventure.”

It sounds as though Martin plans on keeping the banjo strapped on tight for the immediate future.

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About the Author

John Lawless

John had served as primary author and editor for The Bluegrass Blog from its launch in 2006 until being folded into Bluegrass Today in September of 2011. He continues in that capacity here, managing a strong team of columnists and correspondents.