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Marble Falls students present bluegrass musical ‘Bright Star’

Marble Falls High School presents Bright Star

The Marble Falls High School fine arts department presents the musical 'Bright Star,' written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. The cast, including Kendal Hampton-Hogue (left), Hannah Jordan and Hayden Holder, are rehearsing for the four shows, which are 7 p.m. Jan. 14, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Jan. 16, and 2 p.m. Jan. 17. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Contact 903-814-4740 or showtkts@mfisd.txed.net. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

Bluegrass by way of Broadway hits the Marble Falls High School stage with a sentimental story spliced between flashbacks and flash forwards.

“We love it,” said choir director Bryce Gage of the musical “Bright Star.” “The kids love it. We’re going to be doing stuff that no one else does.”

Performances are Jan. 14, 16, and 17 in the school auditorium, 2101 Mustang Drive. Showtimes are 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 14; 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 16; and 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 17. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students. Reservations may be made by contacting 830-798-3664 or showtkts@mfisd.txed.net

COVID-19 safety protocols will be followed, including socially distanced seating.

“We always have huge crowds, so get your tickets early,” Gage said. “They can get tickets at the door if there are any left, but the chances are there’s not going to be a ton.”

Marble Falls High School presents Bright Star
‘Bright Star’ features a large cast as well as an incredible set complete and lighting. Staff photo by Daniel Clifton

The musical, written and composed by actor-comedian Steve Martin and singer-songwriter Edie Brickell, is set in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in the mid-1940s and has flashbacks to the early ’20s. It is inspired by the duo’s Grammy Award-winning bluegrass album “Love Has Come for You” and the story of the “Iron Mountain Baby.”

Twists and turns, surprises and revelations happen as the plot unfolds. Gage said the show is worthy of a PG rating. 

The production is a joint effort of the school’s fine arts staff with direction by theater arts director Jon Clark, theater arts technical director Saul Wright, associate choir director Emily Chavez, and Gage.

The set features a moving house that glides across the stage while holding the entire orchestra. The curtains never close during the performance, so like an uncut shot in a movie, everything is presented in one long continuum. 

“There’s nothing hidden,” Gage said. “You’ll see every actor on stage the whole time. They’re sitting in the wings, and they’re always still part of the show.” 

The performance is packed with original numbers, all inspired by Appalachian bluegrass. 

“It is a huge ensemble show. There’s tons of dance in this show,” Gage said. “There’s more music and dance than there is dialog. It’s on the verge of being a bluegrass operetta because there’s so much music.”

alex@thepicayune.com