Steve Martin's 'Bright Star' to Close on Broadway

Nick Stokes
Carmen Cusack and Paul Alexander Nolan in 'Bright Star'

After struggling to build audiences and walking away empty-handed from the Tony Awards, the original bluegrass musical will play its final performance on June 26.

Time to pack up those banjos and fiddles.

After struggling to sell tickets and failing to translate any of its five Tony nominations into wins, Bright Star will play its final performance at Broadway's Cort Theatre on June 26.

Directed by Walter Bobbie, the original bluegrass musical set in North Carolina in the first half of the 20th century was written by Steve Martin, who also co-wrote the music with lyricist Edie Brickell.

The show surprised many theater pundits with its robust showing in the Tony nominations, landing on the shortlist for best musical, as well as book, score, orchestrations and lead actress Carmen Cusack.

It won the Outer Critics Circle Award for best musical and score, as well as the Drama Desk Award for outstanding music. However, it was up against Hamilton in neither of those races, given that Lin-Manuel Miranda's 11-time Tony winner had been eligible in many of last year's awards for its original off-Broadway run.

Despite generally positive reviews, Bright Star has been a modest seller at the box office, grossing $527,807 last week in its best performance to date.

Produced on Broadway by Joey Parnes, the show began previews Feb. 25 and officially opened March 24. It will have played 30 previews and 106 regular performances by the time it closes.

"So much of Bright Star's beauty comes from the fact that it is utterly free of irony," Parnes said Tuesday in a statement that acknowledged the $10.5 million production's commercial hurdles. "In these cynical times, this quality proved to be totally refreshing to audience members, and also created a unique challenge in attracting them."

The original cast album, produced by Peter Asher, was recently released through Ghostlight Records, charting on five different Billboard lists in its debut week, including Broadway, Current Bluegrass and Americana/Folk. No touring plans have been announced.

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