The Players Theatre Company Presents: Bright Star
In the early 1900s, a farmer and Civil War veteran was collecting lumber underneath a high railroad bridge when the Number Four train of the St. Louis, Iron Mountain and Southern Railway came speeding by overhead. After the noise subsided, the farmer saw a telescoping valise he had not noticed before. What he found inside became the stuff of legend.
This May at the Owen Theatre in Conroe, the Players Theatre Company presents Bright Star, a musical based on the legend. Full of laughter, tears, sorrow, and ultimately hope, Bright Star is a musical the whole family can enjoy. Featuring a winsome country and bluegrass score by comedian and banjo aficionado Steve Martin, and musician and native Texan Edie Brickell, the show is a smart, funny, and charming look at life in rural North Carolina in the first part of the twentieth century.
The story features the central character, Alice Murphy, at two different stages of life: a carefree teenager in love with the handsome and dashing mayor’s son; and the world-weary editor of a small newspaper in Asheville, North Carolina. Bringing Alice Murphy to life with beautiful singing and compelling acting is Jade Kelly Connaughton, who audiences saw last year as Sally Bowles in The Players production of Cabaret. Playing her teenage beau Jimmy Ray is familiar face Lucas Olivarez, who was recently in The Players production of Newsies, as well as last season’s Footloose and Sister Act.
Determined to protect his son and keep Alice and Jimmy Ray apart is Mayor Dobbs, who is willing to do whatever it takes to safeguard his son’s future. The Mayor is ably played by Players veteran John McDonald, returning to the Owen stage after a multi-year hiatus. John’s rich singing voice was last heard in The Players 2016 musical Phantom, and audiences can look forward to seeing John once again in Bright Star.
Bright Star also follows the blossoming romance between longtime friends Billy Cane and Margo Crawford. Travis Cook portrays Billy Cane, an aspiring writer returning from World War II who must cope with a loss while following his own dreams. Travis has entertained audiences in several recent Players productions, including Cabaret, Sister Act, and Arsenic and Old Lace. Courtney Laird plays Margo, Billy’s childhood friend and the owner of a bookstore. Courtney just finished performing in The Players Newsies and is looking forward to another chance to perform at the Owen. Rounding out the cast are a talented group of veteran Players performers and new faces, including David Troth, Meredith Fisk, Kim Lambright, Melissa Cummins, Veronica Amandola, Kevin Downs, Emily Downs, Roger Ramirez, Jacob Evans, Steve Murphree, Laurelyn Khorfage, Grace Schexnayder, Alina Scogin, Josh Marchant, and Jacob Evans.
The team behind The Players production of Bright Star includes director Philip Harris, who directed 2020’s Arsenic and Old Lace and has been involved with numerous productions with The Players, both on stage and behind the scenes. Bright Star’s beautiful music is in the capable hands of vocal director Brandon Christian, who has extensive musical experience both in theatre and through being a worship leader. Skilled dancer and choreographer Mieka Phillips’s choreography will delight audiences as it helps bring this show to life. And assistant director Shari Wojta lends her steady hand and watchful eye to this beautiful production.
So come out to the Owen Theatre this May for a beautiful, poignant story of loss and hope. We can’t wait to see you at the theatre!