Gilbert’s Hale Centre Theatre is presenting a musical written by a pair of stars in the world of entertainment and that drew kudos when it premiered on Broadway.
“Bright Star” — written by comedy giant and acting giant Steve Martin with a score by recording star Edie Brickell — will be shown at various times through Oct. 5 at the Heritage Square landmark.
Directed by Tim Dietlein with choreography by Cambrian James and music direction by Lincoln Wright, “Bright Star” was inspired by a true story tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s.
Hale producers Dave and Corrin Dietlein are excited about the show.
“When we first saw this show, I was so moved and entertained, I turned to Corrin and said, ‘I think audiences are going to love this show. We have to put it into our season.’”
Dietlein added, “This show is so full of heart, romance, beautiful music and fully realized characters, I couldn’t turn it down. The show is cinematic by nature, flowing quickly from one setting to the next.”
When it premiered on Broadway in 2016, the New York Times praised the spirited music and comedic script.
“The musical is gentle-spirited, not gaudy, and moves with an easygoing grace where others prance and strut.” The reviewer wrote. “And it tells a sentiment-spritzed story — of lives torn apart and made whole again — that you might be more likely to encounter in black and white, flickering from your flat-screen on Turner Classic Movies.”
“The songs boast simple but seductive melodies, and lyrics that have a sweet, homespun quality,” the review continued. “They range from heartache-perfumed ballads and yearning love duets to energetic hootenannies.”
It was nominated for 5 Tony Awards and won the 2016 Drama Desk award for outstanding music and the Outer Critics Circle Award for outstanding new Broadway musical.
The cast features Heidi-Liz Johnson as Alice Murphy and Cameron Rollins as Jimmy Ray Dobbs.
Also starring are Taylor Hudson as Mayor Josiah Dobbs, Allan DeWitt as Billy Cane, Amanda Glenn as Margo Crawford, Tom Killam as Daddy Cane, Mary Jane McCloskey as Mama Murphy, Brandon Zale as Daddy Murphy, Abbi Cavanaugh as Lucy Grant and JT Ziervogel as Daryl Ames.
Tickets are $40 for adults and $22 for ages 5-17 and can be purchased online at HaleTheatreArizona.com, at 480-497-1181, or the box office, 50 West Page Ave.
Performances are 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday with Saturday and some Friday matinees at 4 p.m.