This production is scheduled April 28-May 14 and July 7-23, 2023.

PCPA’s next show, Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Tony-nominated musical Bright Star, weaves toe-tapping bluegrass and incredible true events into a rich, refreshingly genuine journey along the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

The plot of Bright Star, set in the 1940s with flashbacks to 1923, is based on a true story turned folksong called “Iron Mountain Baby.”

Director Keenon Hooks says, “We follow the story of Alice Murphy, and embark on a journey of love, heartache, hope, responsibility, and redemption.” All of the characters, he says, “remind us of the steadfast strength to be found within ourselves, in the people that surround us, and in our roots.”

There’s a beautiful bluegrass score that was inspired by Martin and Brickell’s Grammy Award-winning album, Love Has Come for You. And a live orchestra that combines professional musicians, resident artists, and students.

The cast features guest Lesley McKinnell as Alice Murphy, Don Stewart as Daddy Murphy, Kitty Balay as Mama Murphy, second year acting student Cat Evans as Lucy Grant, Oscar Emmanuel Fabela as Daryl Ames, PCPA alumni Jordan Stidham as Billy Cane, Andrew Philpot as Daddy Cane, Erik Stein as Mayor Josiah, George Walker as Jimmy Ray Dobbs, and first-year acting student Lottie Arnold as Margo Crawford.

The creative team, in addition to Hooks who also serves as choreographer, includes music director Michael Wilkins, scenic designer Jason Bolen, costume designer Jacqueline Heimel, lighting designer Cody Soper, sound designer Tony Angelini, dialect coach Kitty Balay, and stage manager Suzanne Tyler.

Bright Star premiered at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego in 2014 and opened on Broadway in the spring of 2016, earning five Tony Award nominations. It plays in the Marian Theatre in Santa Maria April 28 to May 14 and at the Solvang Festival Theater July 7-23.