“Bright Star” Guides You to the Piedmont University Theatre

Gabriel Richman, playing Billy, dips Carly Jelinek, playing Lucy as the song “Another Round” comes to a close. The pair are surrounded by an ensemble of cast. (From left to right) [Top row] DC Stoltz, Dante Wilson, Joshua Farmer [Middle row] Ethan Spinks, Ally Kaspor, Dakota Rose Chen, Hayley Scroggins, Clayton Maddox, Hannah Willems, Hannah Sheffield [Bottom row] Max Daves and Jo Collinson. “Bright Star” will be performed on Piedmont University’s Mainstage Theatre Mar. 30 – April 2. Photo // Hannah Osborne

Rowan Edmonds, Managing Editor

Let’s go back to North Carolina in 1945. The war is over, bluegrass is all the rage and a young Billy Cane, played by Gabriel Richman,  is ready to make his mark on the world with his words. 

Billy is an aspiring journalist and will go to any lengths to see his dreams come true, even going to Asheville to submit his writings to “The Asheville Southern Journal.” Here, he meets the editor-in-chief, Alice Murphy, played by Gracie Tipton. What I initially believed to be a story about a struggling writer quickly became so much more as the audience was thrown into flashbacks of Alice’s life 20 years prior, filled with love and loss. 

What follows is fun and exciting music with a storyline that keeps you gripping your seat and wondering what happens next. The two timelines intertwine beautifully and keep you entertained from beginning to end. 

Bill Gabelhausen and Jonathan Furlow, director, and assistant director, respectively, worked tirelessly to pull this playoff, which showed. From the beautiful set and smooth transitions from scene to scene to the fantastic musical talents of the cast, everybody should be proud of themselves. Adding a live band, directed by Barbra Luhn, adds to the experience and immerses the audience even more. 

“Working on ‘Bright Star’ has been a true joy just because of the complex story and what the student actors bring to it,” said Gabelhausen. “I have watched the show evolve nightly, and that’s exciting.” 

Bright Star is characterized by soul-wrenching moments such as the performance of “Please, Don’t Take Him” and highly entertaining performances in “Another Round.” The chemistry of the cast was undeniable, from the spark between Alice and Jimmy Ray (played by Johnny “Seven” Goodwyn) to the laugh-out-loud banter of Lucy Grant (played by Carly Jelinek) and Daryl Ames (played by Marius Krings).

“Bright Star” is a Piedmont University production that you will not want to miss the opportunity of enjoying. 

“Bright Star” will perform from Mar. 30 – April 2 on the Mainstage in the Swanson Center. Purchase tickets online at www.piedmont.edu/tickets. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors, and free to Piedmont faculty, staff, and students!