From Nov. 8 to 11, Hays High School will present the Broadway musical “Bright Star,” written by Steve Martin (the comedian and banjo player) and Edie Brickell in 2016.
Hays High is the fourth high school in the nation to perform this new show, and its opening night will serve as the Kansas premiere. Tickets are available at www.ticketsource.us/hays-high-school, or at the 12th Street Auditorium box office from 12:30 to 6:30 p.m. Fridays.
Inspired by a real event, the show tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption, in the rich setting of the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina in the 1920s and ’40s. When literary editor Alice Murphy meets a young soldier just home from World War II, he awakens her longing for the child she once lost. Haunted by their unique connection, Alice sets out on a journey to understand her past – and what she finds has the power to transform both of their lives.
The leading role of Alice is played by sophomore Caitlin Leiker. Billy Cane is played by sophomore Gabe McGuire, and Jimmy Ray Dobbs is played by senior Cade Swayne. There are 40 students in the cast, three students in the band of 10, and another handful of students who help run the technical elements of the production.
“I chose this show for a variety of reasons,” said Alex Underwood, Hays High Schools vocal director. “I thought its compelling plot would suit the students while also fitting the musical culture of Hays.”
The show features a unique blend of Americana music — country, bluegrass and Broadway — with a live nine-person band performing on stage during the show.
“We spent a long time finding the right musicians, from banjo and fiddle to mandolin and stand-up bass, to create the perfect musical backdrop,” Underwood said. “I think audiences will enjoy hearing our delightful bluegrass band, and will be impressed with the talented students of Hays High. They’re in for a moving and charming evening experiencing live performing arts.”
Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Nov. 8 to 10, and 2:30 p.m. Nov. 11 at the 12th Street Auditorium.