Bright Star
Closed 2h 30m
Bright Star
83

Bright Star NYC Reviews and Tickets

83%
(1005 Reviews)
Positive
89%
Mixed
9%
Negative
2%
Members say
Entertaining, Delightful, Great singing, Original, Great staging

About the Show

In this musical by actor-writer Steve Martin and '80s pop icon Edie Brickell, a young man returns from WWII to his North Carolina home and uncovers dark secrets about his past.

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Member Reviews (1,005)

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927 Reviews | 379 Followers
80
Romantic, Entertaining, Cliched, Funny, Great singing

See it if You want to see an original blue grass musical with a lead actress that's glorious!

Don't see it if You can't be happy with a show that's got some great music but is a bit slim on story.

MJK
677 Reviews | 186 Followers
86
Original, Entertaining, Refreshing, Delightful, Charming

See it if you want a fresh, wholly original musical with clever staging, a striking bluegrass score and a remarkable Broadway debut (Carmen Cusack).

Don't see it if you have no heart. (This a truly lovely show.) Or if you don't understand the difference between allegory and realistic storytelling.

593 Reviews | 222 Followers
84
Absorbing, Delightful, Original, Romantic, Refreshing

See it if You really enjoy banjo/bluegrass music, as it has a stunning score.

Don't see it if You feel like you've seen enough World War II-era romances.

533 Reviews | 488 Followers
85
Great acting, Beautiful, Original, Great music, Affecting

See it if you love to get swept up in a beautiful story.

Don't see it if you want a giant blockbuster type show.

481 Reviews | 317 Followers
95
Absorbing, Delightful, Great acting, Must see, Original

See it if You want to experience fantastic acting, singing and music. Carmen Cusack was particularly wonderful. But all were excellent.

Don't see it if You don't like bluegrass (although you might be pleasantly surprised). There are serious aspects to the show which might be upsetting.

501 Reviews | 127 Followers
55
Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Fluffy, Insipid

See it if you want to watch an excellent lead actress in Carmen Cusack.

Don't see it if you want something new, fresh and stimulating. Don't see if you want a well written script, good lyrics and choreography.

463 Reviews | 70 Followers
62
Banal, Cliched, Disappointing, Great staging, Awful book

See it if you love blue grass music, GREAT choreography, an interesting set, good performances

Don't see it if you want a plot that isn't 100% predictable well before intermission. So much foreshadowing! Lose that damn electric train.

375 Reviews | 227 Followers
80
Entertaining, Slow, Refreshing, Great singing

See it if You're into bluegrass music. Even if you are not, you might enjoy the terrific band and a knockout performance by Carmen Cusack.

Don't see it if You expect a big, brassy musical.

Critic Reviews (68)

The New York Times
March 24th, 2016

"The musical is gentle-spirited, not gaudy, and moves with an easygoing grace where others prance and strut. And it tells a sentiment-spritzed story...While the story certainly skirts (if not embraces) sentimentality and the overripeness of melodrama, the production’s soft-hued style keeps it from curdling into treacle. The songs boast simple but seductive melodies, and lyrics that have a sweet, homespun quality. The mostly acoustic score is beautifully played."
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Time Out New York
March 24th, 2016

"'Bright Star' aspires to be what the older Alice asks from a young fiction writer: 'a sweeping tale of pain and redemption'. But it cries out for an editor’s sharp blue pen. Sweeping? In lieu of the color that the story seems to call for, Bobbie’s production is often actively plain...Painful? For the audience, perhaps...It does, however, have a genuine redeeming feature in Cusack...If not much else, the musical does right by its star, the bright spot in a sky of murk."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
March 24th, 2016

"'Bright Star' is a banal, self-cancelling, upbeat musical, the kind that wants to demonstrate a lot of heart without actually having one. Which is not to say it has no smarts and no value. There’s a lot to like in 'Bright Star' and a lot to admire in the way it was made...How the stories intersect with the songs is the larger problem here. The mostly bluegrass score sounds great but almost always does exactly the opposite of what a story-based musical requires."
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The Hollywood Reporter
March 24th, 2016

"There's a disarming sweetness and sincerity to this folksy Americana bluegrass musical which makes the tuneful melodrama a pleasurable experience. It also helps that talented lead Carmen Cusack brings such integrity and warmth to her performance...Brickell's lyrics lack imagination and specificity, and can seem awkwardly pasted onto gentle melodies that at times become a little samey...It's easy to overlook the shortcomings of the musical's craft and go with its sweet-natured optimism."
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Entertainment Weekly
March 24th, 2016

"'Bright Star' often verges on corny, particularly in the second act as the plotlines come together. The set is unfussy but suits the story well...But it’s Martin and Brickell’s music that’s the brightest star in 'Bright Star'. The bluegrass sounds complement the show’s setting and era, Americana music with layered harmonies and beautiful use of banjo and fiddle. Not every song is a winner, but there are stirring ballads and toe-tapping numbers throughout that audience members will enjoy."
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Variety
March 24th, 2016

"'Bright Star' is Broadway-slick, with top-rung creatives involved and an appealing lead performance from Carmen Cusack. But the sheer scale of the package overwhelms this sweet but slender homespun material...Martin is an accomplished banjo player and the music he writes with Brickell sounds completely authentic...they also sound repetitive...The big drawback to the chatty lyrics is that they re-hash the plot’s melodramatic content, but neglect to deepen or explore the characters."
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The Wall Street Journal
March 24th, 2016

"Martin is a good banjo player who writes not-so-great plays. Now he’s branched out by writing a really bad bluegrass-pop musical...The best thing about 'Bright Star' is the music, which is bland and undramatic but competently wrought. The plot is trite, the dialogue humorless and stiff, the lyrics stupefyingly banal. The cast and band work hard and Bobbie does his best to breathe life into the show, but if Martin’s name weren’t on the marquee, it wouldn’t have gotten anywhere near Broadway."
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Deadline
March 24th, 2016

"Skip 'Bright Star,' the unfortunate musical...this earnest but soggy mess. 'Bright Star' reeks of condescension, from the twangy accents to the charm layered on like dollar perfume and the thigh-slapping slap-happy dances...However, the songs are, in and of themselves, striking...But nothing really takes flight in 'Bright Star'. It’s as earthbound as the folks it wants to celebrate."
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