The 2021 Southridge Musical


Written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell

May 2021

Lincoln Amphitheatre

Listen to the Original Cast Album

“Endearing and emotionally sweeping, ‘Bright Star’ is a no-frills, narrative-driven musical that’s less about flash and more about its human-connective qualities, the very ones that will likely touch audience members in a much more cerebral, satisfying way. While it is seemingly intimate in execution, just below its rustic surfaces lay a more epic, modern-minded musical that’s mired in heartbreak and tragedy—but yet still ultimately enveloped in hope, triumph, and love.”

Bright Star is the story of one woman at two different points in her life: the first, when she is a wild young thing growing up barefoot and carefree in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina; the second, when she is a well-to-do magazine editor in Asheville, 22 years later. Her story is inevitably woven with that of an idealistic young man named Billy, with whom she shares a mysterious connection. As a young teen in Zebulon, NC, Alice Murphy is hopelessly in love with small town heartthrob Jimmy Ray, the mayor’s son. Although their love was pure, it falls victim to the interference of ambitious parents, and their infant son is whisked away before their happy ending could ever begin. More than two decades later, Alice is the successful editor of The Asheville Southern Journal, and meets a promising young writer named Billy. The story continues to unfold with interesting twists and unexpected turns and has an ending that will warm your heart.

Character Descriptions

Alice Murphy: Alice is portrayed both as a late teenager in the 1920s and an older version of herself in the 1940s. As a young woman, she constantly works to create her own powerful voice despite being stifled by gender norms in her town. In her thirties, she is hilariously blunt and honest, demanding respect both because of her intellectual capacity and confident attitude. She is more reserved than her romantic younger self, but she still retains her caring spirit and adventurous side.

Jimmy Ray: Jimmy is a late teenager in the 1920s and an adult in the 1940s. As a teenager, Jimmy Ray is eager to explore the world, learn, and find something meaningful to do with his life. He is confident and witty, matching Alice’s adventurous spirit as their love for each other grows. In the 1940s, Jimmy Ray still has his confidence and playfulness but is filled with guilt and a fear that he can’t fix what has been broken in his life.

Billy Cane: Billy is a young man who has just returned home from World War II. He is filled with an energetic optimism and youthful passion for life, determined to see beauty in the world despite the hardships he faced in the war. At times naive and idealistic, Billy’s energy propels him to follow his aspirations. He is self-assured and remains hopeful that his eloquent writing can contribute something important to the world.

Margo: Margo is a young woman in Hayes Creek who runs her own bookstore. She is kind, clever, supportive, and hard-working. She is always there for Billy when he needs her and strives to be someone that others can lean on. She values the community around her, which she finds both in her own bookstore and in Billy. Margo at times struggles with the balance between remaining hopeful and being realistic, but she grounds herself through her work and connections with others.

Mayor Dobbs: Mayor Dobbs is a powerful man consumed by his ideas of tradition and structure. He wants the best for his son, Jimmy Ray, and believes in the power of consistency, however, he is willing to do anything to keep the image of his perfect life. He acts as a counterpoint to Alice’s core beliefs and the messages of the show, demonstrating how societal pressures can infringe upon doing what’s best for loved ones.

Daddy Murphy: Alice’s father. In the 1920s, he struggles between his love of tradition and social standards and his love for his daughter. While Alice forges her own individual path, Daddy Murphy looks to the Bible to gain clarity, but he later realizes how he failed to account for his daughter’s needs. In the 1940s, Daddy Murphy begins to understand his daughter’s view of the world and wishes to repair what has been broken.

Mama Murphy: Alice’s mother. More so than Alice, she has been forced into the gender roles presented by the small town of Zebulon. However, she fights as best as she can for Alice and what she believes is right. She takes immense care to protect her daughter however she can, attempting to do so in the frame of her town’s social standards.

Daddy Cane: Daddy Cane is incredibly kind and faithful. He raises Billy to be strong and optimistic. Daddy Cane comes from a humble background, but he wants the best for Billy, who is his whole world, and does all he can to make sure Billy can live the life he wants.

Lucy Grant: Lucy is a young woman who works for Alice at the Asheville Southern Journal. With her witty lines and lively nature, she is often a source of much needed levity, and lights up the room whenever present. An uncompromising “modern woman,” she is unapologetic in her convictions, giving her a magnetism that draws others to her

Daryl Ames: Daryl works for Alice at the Asheville Southern Journal. He is often drily sarcastic, but is always ready to let loose and party. Being a formidable editor, he is hard on Billy’s writing, but also harbors insecurities about his own work which he pens in pseudonym and hopes will one day earn the respect of Alice.

“Bright Star” is presented through special arrangement with and all authorized performance materials are supplied by Theatrical Rights Worldwide
1180 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 640, New York, NY 10036.