BHS Senior Hannah Wilson as Alice Murphy
One year ago the lights went dark on the stage at Bettendorf High School as a result of COVID-19 but this weekend they’ll be shining bright once more. The BHS Theatre Department will present Bright Star by well-known actor Steve Martin and his partner Edie Brickell Thursday, April 15 - Sunday, April 18. This is the first time that Bright Star has been performed in the Quad City area. With a cast of 25 and 12 in the pit including musical director and BHS staff member Chris Saito, Bright Star tells a beautiful story of love and redemption inspired by a real event.
The story centers around newspaper editor Alice Murphy and her journey from the 1920s to the 1940s and illuminates the impact one moment can have on the rest of our lives. The music is as much a part of the story as the words that are said, as such the instrumentalists perform on stage with the actors throughout the entire show which is unique and not seen in many productions. The music is unconventional in the world of musical theatre as it features bluegrass music.
Bright Star Band - Front row: Chris Saito, Hayley Smith and Aidan Goerdt;, Back row: Jalyn Thorsen, Rayanne Brackey, Carter Wolf, and Izzy Appel
Director Katherine Howard reflects “This show is so different from anything that we’ve done here at the high school, different than anything I’ve done in my 20 years as an educator. While the story is set in the 1920s and 1940s it mirrors some of the social issues that we face today among the beautiful bluegrass music that I love.”
Senior Hannah Wilson who plays Alice Murphy states “ COVID has made the rehearsal process difficult, singing with masks and social distancing, but this production has also brought such an amazing sense of normalcy to our lives. Being able to be together throughout this process and to the show come to life is a feeling that is unmatched. I am so excited to be able to show off all of the hard work we’ve put into the show.“
Another featured member of the production is senior Aidan Goerdt, who plays the banjo. “I remember my sophomore year I overheard talks of a musical that included bluegrass music and especially a banjo. Having just learned the bassoon for the Sound of Music, I felt as though I could do anything and quickly volunteered to learn said banjo. A few years and hundreds of hours of practice later, I can happily say that learning the banjo was one of the best decisions I have made.”
The production will take place at the Bettendorf High School Performing Arts Center. April 15- April 17 shows begin at 7 pm, a Sunday matinee begins at 1 pm. Tickets, $10 in-person and $20 online, are available in the high school activities office or online at bhspac.booktix.com. For more information call (563) 332-7001.