The five-time Tony Award-nominated musical Bright Star is coming to the Winspear Opera House for a limited run June 12-24, thanks to the AT&T Performing Arts Center's Broadway Series. It's the show's first national tour since its Broadway run, and while some audiences may not be familiar with the newish musical, they're almost certainly familiar with its creators.
Musician Edie Brickell and actor/author Steve Martin are the team behind the sweeping tale of love and redemption, set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and '40s. Propelled by an ensemble of onstage musicians and dancers, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion, beautiful melodies, and powerfully moving performances.
Both Martin and were Brickell were born in Texas, with Brickell originating in Oak Cliff and Martin in Waco. Brickell called Dallas home for most of her life, attending Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and studying at Southern Methodist University before forming the folk band New Bohemians and focusing her career on music and songwriting.
Martin and his family, meanwhile, relocated early in his life to California.
Making it as musicians
After being signed to a recording contract with the band Edie Brickell & the New Bohemians in 1988, Brickell's musical career took off. She has had a tremendously successful career with groups such as the Gaddabouts and the Heavy Circles, as well as a critically acclaimed solo career. It was her work with Steve Martin in 2013, however, that eventually led her to Broadway.
Martin and Brickell first collaborated on the bluegrass album Love Has Come For You, featuring the Steep Canyon Rangers band. The title track won the Grammy Award for Best American Roots Song in 2013. The Texas-born duo toured with the band to promote the album, and eventually worked together to create the music, lyrics, and story of Bright Star, which opened at Broadway's Cort Theater in 2016.
Martin had already ventured in playwrighting with Picasso at the Lapin Agile and The Underpants: A Play, but Bright Star was the first venture into musical theater for these two artists, who had already found vast success in film and commercial recording music. The score was lauded by theater critics for its buoyancy, warmth, and instrumentation, and it was nominated for a 2016 Tony Award for Best Original Score (along with Best Book of a Musical for Martin).
Don't miss an opportunity to see this refreshingly genuine musical when it stops in Dallas June 12-24. For tickets, call the box office at 214-880-0202 or visit the AT&T Performing Arts Center's website.