Uproarious laughter from behind my seat – a standing ovation from everyone in the house – a teary-eyed super fan who almost fainted – aspiring thespians exhilarated by their received professional advice – these were all incidents I witnessed in the last 30 minutes as I left Pioneer Theatre Company on Friday night.
Not since the 1970s has Pioneer Theatre Company brought in a touring production, and Carmen Cusack along with her amazing cast of Bright Star will make you wonder why tours don’t come by more often. In fact, the entire cast of Bright Star captured my attention so brilliantly, I wish I was a young, white Southern girl in the early 20th century. I was jealous of the bluegrass band in a cabin on wheels, a violinist that shadowed characters as they sang, and the family on stage that danced and performed to the best soundtrack of foot-stomping tunes I’ve ever heard on stage. Karen, this is indeed one of the best shows I’ve seen at the theatre.
As the audience left the theatre and the fans cleared the hallways, the cast and crew gathered together in celebration of the night. Cheery conversations, uplifted spirits, and big smiles filled the room.
Salt Lake City is a surprising end to Carmen Cusack’s portrayal of Alice Murphy in Bright Star. From the mold built from early workshops to eight shows a week on Broadway, Carmen played Alice from the very start of Bright Star. Aside from being not quite ready to pass on the baton, I heard a rumor that never having visited Salt Lake before was also another deciding factor in touring to PTC. Go Utah! As Carmen’s last city in the tour, I had to get a group photo panorama despite the large group in a tiny side dining area of the kitchen (thus, forgive the poor angle and cutting out of certain cast in certain swoops!!).
—PTC Blogger, Lansia Wann