BoHo Theatre begins its 2019 season with BRIGHT STAR, a new musical by playwright Steve Martin and musician Edie Brickell, directed by Ericka Mac. This production marks the company’s first as a resident company at Lincoln Park’s Greenhouse Theater Center and also the first under new artistic director Stephen Schellhardt. BRIGHT STAR was nominated for five Tony Awards and called “a shining achievement” by THE NEW YORK TIMES. It received a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music and Outer Critics Circles Awards for Outstanding New Broadway Musical and Outstanding Score.
BoHo is proud to bring to Chicago this new work from Grammy, Emmy, and Academy Award-winner Steve Martin and Grammy Award-winner Edie Brickell. Inspired by a real event, 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 story follows young writer Billy Cane, recently returned from World War II, and Alice Murphy, the editor who takes a chance on him. As Billy mines his childhood home for engaging stories, Alice sets out to explore the pain and mystery of her own small-town past. The overlapping secrets they uncover lead them a startling and heart-warming connection. BoHo's production of BRIGHT STAR will be directed and choreographed by Ericka Mac, whose credits include choreography such productions as MAMMA MIA (Marriott), RIDE THE CYCLONE (Chicago Shakespeare and off-Broadway), and PARADE (Writers Theatre) as well as assistant director on COMPANY (Writers) and associate director/choreographer on MADAGASCAR (Chicago Shakespeare). Julie Nichols is Music Director.
Mac's cast will include 2018 Jeff Award winner Missy Wise (Alice), Jeff Pierpoint (Billy), Josiah Robinson (Jimmy Ray), Scott Danielson (Mayor Dobbs), Kiersten Fumkin (Margo), Rachel Whyte (Lucy), Dwayne Everett (Daryl), Peter Robel (Daddy Cane), John B. Boss (Daddy Murphy), Jenny Rudnick (Mama Murphy), and Brittany Sue Hines, Max Kramer, Jennifer Ledesma, Kelan Smith, and Mike Weaver as the ensemble.
The production team includes Lauren M. Nichols (Scenic Design), G. Max Maxin (Lighting and Projection Design), Bob Kuhn (Costume Design),Joe Palermo (Sound Design), Joe Palermo (Properties Design), Andrea Swanson (Assistant Music Director), Lindsay Brown (Production Manager), Dalton Long (Stage Manager), Meg Love (Producer).
“For me, BRIGHT STAR is about how unconditional love and hope can overcome obstacles,” says director Ericka Mac. “How forgiveness can redeem a person/situation and create miracles.” Similar to many recent BoHo productions, the music in BRIGHT STAR will be fully integrated into the storytelling by having actors play their own instruments to create a seamless, up-close musical experience.
Steve Martin has been a prolific comedian, musician, and writer dating back to the 1960s, when he first came to public notice as a writer for THE SMOTHERS BROTHERS COMEDY HOUR. He began his playwriting career in 1993 with PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE, and has also written THE UNDERPANTS, and METEOR SHOWER. A life-long banjo-player, he is a frequent collaborator with the bluegrass band Steep Canyon Rangers.
Edie Brickell is a singer-songwriter who first achieved fame with her band The New Bohemians in the 1980s with the single “What I Am.” She began a successful solo career beginning the in the 1990s and later founded the band The Gaddabouts in 2010. Martin and Brickell collaborated on the bluegrass/folk albums LOVE HAS COME FOR YOU and SO FAMILIAR prior to writing BRIGHT STAR. Their song “Love Has Come For You” won a Grammy Award for Best American Roots Song in 2013.
Ericka Mac is a Chicago-based director and choreographer. Her Chicagoland credits as choreographer/associate director include MAMMA MIA! (Jeff Award nomination for Best Choreography), SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK LIVE! (Marriott Theatre), SHREW’D (First Folio Theatre), RIDE THE CYCLONE (Chicago Shakespeare, MCC Theatre (Off Broadway), & ACT Theatre (Seattle)), DIARY OF A WIMPY KID (World Premiere at The Children’s Theatre of Minneapolis), PARADE and COMPANY (Writers Theatre), WTTW’s NIGHT ON BROADWAY Gala featuring Heather Headley (WTTW/WFMT studios), SEUSSICAL (Drury Lane Oakbrook), MADAGASCAR and THE LITTLE MERMAID (Chicago Shakespeare Theatre), ALICE’S ROCK & ROLL ADVENTURE (Chicago Children’s Theatre), and THE POLAR EXPRESS (Warner Bros./Rail Events).
Music, lyrics, and book by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell
Directed & choreographed by Ericka Mac
Music Direction by Julie Nichols
March 16 – May 5, 2019
Performing at the Greenhouse Theater Center, 2257 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago
Previews: Saturday, March 16 @ 8:00pm, Sunday, March 17 @ 2:00pm, Thursday, March 21 and Friday, March 22 @ 8:00pm
Press Opening / Opening Night: Saturday, March 23, at 8:00 pm
Performance run: March 24 – May 5
Thursdays through Saturdays at 8:00 pm and Sundays at 2:00 pm.
General Tickets on sale February 19 at www.BoHoTheatre.com or (773) 975-8150.
Tickets are $25 for previews and $35 for regular performances.
BoHo Theatre tells stories examining and celebrating human relationships — focusing on the Bohemian pillars of Truth, Beauty, Freedom, and Love — using bold, intimate theatrical stagings. Our vision is to create a shared community of artists and patrons in which all members are moved through art to make thoughtful, well-examined, caring relationships the highest priority in their lives.
BoHo’s 2019 mainstage season features BRIGHT STAR by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, directed by Ericka Mac; THE RIVER by Jez Butterworth, directed by Jerrell L. Henderson; and BIG FISH by Andrew Lippa and John August, directed by Stephen Schellhardt. BoHo is a resident company at the Greenhouse Theater Center in Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.