Dallas Theater Review: ‘Bright Star’

Review by Lauryn Angel

Anticipation was high on the evening of Tuesday, June 12 for the opening of Bright Star, a musical written by native Texans Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. Unfortunately, the performance did not quite meet expectations.

That’s not to say that there weren’t any bright moments in the production. The characters of Daryl Ames (Jeff Blumenkrantz) and Lucy Grant (Kaitlyn Davidson) provide much of the show’s comedy in the form of witty one-liners. The score is unusual, and there are some catchy songs, like “Another Round.” Audrey Cardwell shines in the starring role of Alice Murphy.

And yet the story falls flat. In part this is due to the fact that the plot development is done largely through songs – to the extent that there are possibly too many of them. Additionally, there is very little character depth or development. We are shown Alice in two different periods of her life – a carefree Alice in the 1920s opposed with a curmudgeonly Alice in the 1940s. While the tragedy she experiences is certainly enough to justify this change in behavior, there’s very indication of what she learns from her experience. The other characters are flat, for the most part, which some development on the part of Billy Cane (Henry Gottfried), but that change comes just as suddenly and predictably as the resolution of Alice’s tragedy.

Bright Star is worth seeing for die-hard fans of Martin and Brickell, and musical theater enthusiasts will likely enjoy it as well. However, if you’re on a tight entertainment budget, this might be one to skip.

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