Bright Star

We did take a break from plumbing last night to go see the musical at the Ahmanson. It had some of the same cast as the Broadway production, including the lead, who was fantastic. Here’s the original review (spoiler free, with which I largely agree).

I saw Steve Martin live when I was young, during the Carter administration, and he was doing his SNL schtick, with the arrow through the head. But even then his banjo playing impressed. We also saw his band with Edie Brickell (co-author of the musical) at the Hollywood Bowl a couple years ago. I really think that Steve Martin is one of the most talented men of our age.

[Tuesday-afternoon update]

Jon Gabriel defends Steve Martin from James Lileks. I don’t often disagree with James, but Jon is right.


4 thoughts on “Bright Star”

    1. Actually he was a writer for the show, also The Smothers Brothers. He’s a very good banjo player.

  1. Thanks for posting this, Rand. After reading the review (and I hold the same opinion of Steve Martin that you do), I think I know what the lovely KfK’s Christmas present will be.

  2. The episode of SNL where Steve Martin debuted “King Tut” is maybe the best episode ever. It had: the Blues Brothers debut; Martin as Theodoric of York and, along with Dan Ackroyd, the Fenstruk brothers (the “wild and crazy guys”); a cool silent dance between Martin and Gilda Radner that was used some years later on the show as a tribute to Radner when she died (Steve Martin was hosting that night as well and introduced the clip); a Jane Curtin/Dan Ackroyd “Point/Counterpoint” featuring Ackroyd’s “Jane, you ignorant slut” riposte; etc. Classic.

    But going back to “King Tut”: Nowadays, it may be difficult to see how groundbreaking it was, but it upended just about every TV variety show musical number trope and was completely unexpected. I was a teenager at the time, watching the show with friends, and we were dumbfounded; by the middle of the song, when Lou Marini popped out of a sarcophagus blowing the sax solo, we were laughing hysterically. The song gets played occasionally on SiriusXM during Little Steven’s segments on the Underground Garage channel, and it never fails to bring a smile to my face, almost 40 years later.

    Steve Martin was definitely cool.

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