Thankful for "Bright Star"

Trish Befus

  • OnStage Canada Columnist

As I reflect on a whirlwind trip to NYC, my heart is filled with love and hope. When Bright Star suddenly announced its closing date, I found myself booking a flight to see the second last show. I had delayed flights, missed connections and wondered whether or not I would make it at all.

But I did. I even had a half hour to spare.

I have been on #TeamBrightStar for a while. I wasn’t one who saw Carmen Cusack on the Tony Awards and thought I should see it. I already was making plans. I know the music quite well. 

From the moment Carmen Cusack begins to sing, she holds the audience in the palm of her hands. ‘Alice’ has a story to tell and Carmen does it with beauty, honesty and perfection. I have never been to a show, and believe me; I have seen many shows, where an actor gets a standing ovation after a particular song. “At Long Last” brought the audience to their feet.

A.J. Shively plays Billy, who returns from the war to learn of his mother’s death. He has a scene where he is at her graveside and talks to her. Having lost my own mother, the emotion is all too real. His emotion was raw and I wanted to comfort him. 

Paul Alexander Nolan is Jimmy Rae, the wannabe bad boy with a huge heart. The love he brings across for Alice is definitely a relationship goal.

At the same time, this is a Steve Martin show. The comedic relief is brilliant! The side kicks, Lucy and Daryl, brought to life by Emily Padgett and Jeff Blumenkrantz are a beautiful reminder that life can be humourous. 

It is rare that I laugh as much as I did and cry a constant stream of tears in the same show. During the big reveal in Act II, I must have gasped loudly as the lady sitting in front of me reached behind and took my hand.

I often find myself defending why I do or do not like a show. We all like different things. I don’t have to like all the shows. I want to be moved or energized; I want to laugh, cry, learn something about myself or fall in love with the music. I haven’t done that with the ‘ten dollar bill’ show. I have fallen in love with Bright Star.

I feel grateful that I had the chance to see Bright Star before it closed.

I am thankful that Steve Martin and Edie Brickell are blessed with great talent and had a vision for a beautiful show. 

I am blessed to have seen Carmen, A.J, Paul and the rest of the cast for their raw, emotional and incredible performances that brought amazing characters to life.

I am thankful for the magic of the set, special effects and especially the train!

I'm ready for my life to begin.
I'm ready for it all to start.
My heart's about to bust
Don't lead the way I must
Follow my own bright star.

I am happy to be able to follow my own Bright Star.

I need to know what I like matters and it does.

Something tells me it'll be alright
Something tells me it's gonna be okay
The sun is gonna shine again!