Bright Star, the new musical featuring music composed by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, has announced a closing date of June 26 at the Cort Theatre on Broadway. It officially opened on March 24 after several years of development on the west coast and off-Broadway in New York.
The show had generated a good bit of buzz in the NYC theater scene, and had received five Tony nominations recently for Best Musical, Best Score, Best Book, Best Lead Actress in a Musical, and Best Orchestrations. But the actual awards showed them no love and ticket sales have been disappointing of late.
The music in particular generated a great deal of attention, as it featured an Appalachian-Themed string band appearing on stage for much of the show. Martin wrote the music on the banjo, and Brickell composed the lyrics based on his work tapes, and the story of the play as conceived by Steve.
High praise has also been forthcoming for lead actress, Carmen Cusack, who plays the role of Alice Murphy, a literary critic whose unexpected romance with a soldier returning from war frames the production.
Martin explained a bit about the show in this video created while recording the cast soundtrack earlier this year.
New York theater media has critiqued the show for its unorthodox musical choices and for whatever reason, fans of Americana and bluegrass music have not been enough to keep the production running.
Still, there is hope for a touring company version of Bright Star are on the table though they may be several months in the planning. It seems likely that the show could find a ready audience in the American heartland.
We’ll have more to say about the soundtrack in short order, which is available for sale online.
Tickets are available for the remaining shows, with the final performance scheduled for June 26.