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South Pas High Drama Students Take On ‘Bright Star’

The South Pasadena High School drama program recently announced its upcoming production of the bluegrass-influenced, Tony-nominated musical “Bright Star.”
Written by actor-musician-comedian Steve Martin and Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Edie Brickell, “Bright Star” tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South in the 1920s and ’40s. The show is based on a true story and was nominated for five Tony Awards and won the 2016 Drama Desk award for Outstanding Music.
When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past — and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives.
“With beautiful melodies and powerfully moving characters, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion. An uplifting theatrical journey that holds you tightly in its grasp, ‘Bright Star’ is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful,” the SPHS Drama program said in a statement.
Director Nick Hoffa promises an ambitious show that will leave the audience in tears from laughter, sadness and joy.
“Bright Star” is choreographed by Courtney Cheyne, with musical direction by Wylder Reinman and technical direction by James Jontz.
“It’s entertaining for sure — the sets are incredible, Ms Cheyne’s choreography is so fun and beautiful, our live bluegrass band is amazing — but it’s also a really emotional show. The cast has met that challenge and then some.” Hoffa said. “This has been my most collaborative experience with an SPHS musical and everyone — onstage and off — has had massive input on the lovely final version.”
“Bright Star” will appear on the SPHS Anderson Auditorium stage on Friday, April 19, and Saturday, April 20, at 7 p.m. A matinee performance will be held Sunday, April 21, at 2 p.m. at the same venue.

General admission is $20, $10 for children. Advanced tickets may be purchased online. Visit or contact Aimee Levie at for more information.
Anderson Auditorium is located at 1401 Fremont Ave. in South Pasadena.
Content note: While “Bright Star” has no language or violence and is frequently upbeat, there are mature themes and a tragic occurrence, and its consequences are depicted. There are also references to alcohol.

First published in the March 29 print issue of the South Pasadena Review.

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