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‘Bright Star’ Shines Bright

Steve Martin and Edie Brickell's new musical at the Old Globe is a jewel

By Kimberly Cunningham

Carmen Cusack as Alice Murphy with (from left) Scott Wakefield and Joe Jung and the orchestra of Bright Star. Photo by Joan Marcus.

‘Bright Star’ Shines Bright

‘Bright Star’ Shines Bright

Co-creators Edie Brickell and Steve Martin. Photo by Jim Cox.

I could convince you to go to the Old Globe’s new musical, Bright Star, by using two simple words: Steve Martin.

But because, as a magazine, we are in the business of disseminating information, I feel obliged to tell you a little more.

Steve Martin co-created the music with singer/songwriter Edie Brickell. Martin also wrote the book, and Brickell wrote the lyrics. The show is based on the duo’s Grammy-winning collaboration Love Has Come For You.

Warning: This is not the Martin of SNL and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels fame that you know. It’s a softer, more romantic side of the comedian. One of the big takeaways from this project is that Martin really can do anything. He is a true Renaissance Man. Prepare to be impressed.

Simply put, I loved everything about this show: the music, the talented cast (not a weak link in the chain), the onstage band (the offstage one, too!), and even the pacing, which was swift and seamless as it moved back and forth through different years.

It’s the best new musical I have seen in a LONG time, and one of the only times I can remember when I left the theater saying, “Oh my gosh, I need to have that album!”

‘Bright Star’ Shines Bright

‘Bright Star’ Shines Bright

The cast of Bright Star. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The cast of Bright Star. Photo by Joan Marcus.

The bluegrass and bango-laden songs are so sweet. Tunes like “My Baby,” “Sun’s Gonna Shine,” and “Always Will” are so loveable and very downloadable. Note to Brickell and Martin: We are ready for the original cast recording.

Back in early September, we got a sneak peek of the show. You can hear snippets of the music here and meet the cast.

This show really is such a delight. See it now. My prediction is that will go to Broadway and win a Tony. Then you will have to elbow and shove your way through the herd of tourists in Times Square to see it, when you could have seen it here all along.

Bright Star is playing at the Old Globe Theatre in Balboa Park through November 2. Tickets at

‘Bright Star’ Shines Bright

Joan Marcus

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