South Lake High School’s Bright Star Review


Ayan Rasulova

This Saturday, South Lakes High School tackled Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s heartfelt tale of romance, family, and redemption, Bright Star, in what was a brilliantly executed and entirely enchanting performance.

Released on Broadway during the peak of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton, the 2016 show takes place entirely in Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, following two parallel storylines that ultimately converge in an intensely played ending. One thread tells the story of Alice Murphy, a literary editor who reads drafts written by a young soldier, Billy Cane, who has just returned from World War II. As Alice delves deeper into the story, she is forced to confront painful memories from her own past and come to terms with her previous choices and regrets. The other storyline follows Billy as he navigates his new life as a writer in the 1940s, including his blossoming romance with the local librarian, Margo Crawford.

Abigail Jamison’s performance as Alice Murphey was unexpectedly skillful, conducted with finesse and immense passion. A heavy blanket of terror clouded the room as she pierced the stage with her cries of agony during Please, Don’t Take Him, her screams cutting the deafening silence of the still room. Her vocal range spanned a large, hefty range, from the grand opening piece If You Knew My Story to the heartwarming Finale. Additionally, her chemistry with Henry Carter, playing Jimmy Ray Dobbs, dominated the show. Each scene involving the young couple’s dynamics, from passion-fueled dances to soft romantic musings, left audiences speculating whether or not the two performers knew each other from their own past lives. The play’s second couple, August Rivers as Billy Cane and Madelyn Bobko as Margo Crawford, equally delivered, with a more lighthearted slow-burn love story between two childhood friends that balanced out the show’s intimate plot.

What really sold the show, however, was South Lake High School’s lighting choices. Throughout Bright Star’s many outdoor scenes, constellations were scattered across the stage, painting the atmosphere with soft, golden hues that added a more intimate tone to the show. Without the efforts of Hannah Berger, Ava Harper, and the BRIGHT STAR Lighting Team, a lot of the show’s more intricate scenes would have had their effects diminished.

Overall, South Lakes High School’s show was a major success, and every single individual involved displayed phenomenal talent and effort throughout.