Seeing “Bright Star” for the second time this past Saturday was just astounding! I was shocked that I found myself crying through the appropriate sections of the hyper-emotional first act! I was totally wiped out, and was shocked that I responded that intensely. But WHAT an experience!
Seeing a show for the second time, especially one that you liked as much as I did “Bright Star”, is always a slightly scary proposition. Will it hold up? Will you still like it as much as you did the first time? Well, I liked “Bright Star” MORE. I didn’t think it was possible, but I did. And I can’t WAIT until the Original Cast Soundtrack comes out this week! Can’t WAIT!
Carmen Cusack in the title role just continued to astound and astonish. From the first notes of her opening number “If You Knew My Story”, I was just swept away. And never came back til the intermission! The story of a young, bright girl in the rural South of the 1920s, who has the heart as big as all the world is tragic and frightening as it unfolds, as “Bright Star”s emotional roller-coaster continues to flatten you, lift you up,lurch you this way and that, and ends with the powerful image of a suitcase/satchel being thrown off the train and into the night. You’ve GOT to see it!
And “The Humans!” I was so lucky as a Voting Member of the Drama Desk to get to see it also for a second time yesterday and it, too, seems to have grown. That’s the beauty of live theater. It’s alive! And can grow and change and flower in the most astonishing ways..
“The Humans” with its’ visually dead, almost sinister, mundane duplex set of the heroine’s apartment in Chinatown, seemed darker, more foreboding, which only adds to its’ impact.
The resplendent Jayne Howdyshell and the terrific Reed Birney as the mother and father of the attendant Irish Catholic clan continue on their march into Awards Season history, and I can’t wait to see the results. “The Humans” has also grown into a kind of phenomenon, as it, too, has taken the lead in the “Best Play of the Year” sweepstakes. I thought it was a battle between “The Humans” and “Eclipsed” but now I think it’s “The Humans” to lose.
When theater pieces are as good as “Bright Star” and “The Humans” you really CAN’T see them enough! I can’t wait to encounter both of them, again!