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The WordPlayers Produces Broadway Bluegrass Musical: Bright Star

From Grammy, Emmy and Academy Award winning Steve Martin and Grammy Award winning Edie Brickell comes Bright Star, the five-time Tony ­nominated, Broadway musical that The New York Times called "a shining achievement."

July 19 @ 7:30 PM, July 20 @ 2:30 & 7:30 PM and July 21 @ 3:00 PM on the U.S. Cellular Stage at the Bijou Theatre. Tickets range from $21.50 to $25.50 and may be purchased online through or, by phone at 865-684-1200, or at the door.

Inspired by a real event, this original musical tells a sweeping tale of love and forgiveness set in the mountains of western North Carolina in the 1920’s and ‘40’s. The story follows literary editor Alice Murphy and her relationship with Billy Cane, an ambitious young writer recently returned from World War II. (Suggested for ages 13)

Bright Star received a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Music and Outer Critics Circle Awards for Outstanding New Broadway Musical and Outstanding Score. It is an uplifting, humorous, emotional and theatrical journey that holds you tight in its grasp and is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful. Bright Star has it all: a brilliant score, beautiful voices and harmonies, a barn-raising bluegrass band, and a story of broken lives made whole.

The WordPlayers’ production is directed by Leann Dickson and features Deanna Surber in the lead role of Alice Murphy and Jimmy Sherrod as Billy Cane. Sheryl Lawrence Howard is music director, leading an ensemble of talented local theatre artists whose voices and harmonies will stir the soul. They will be accompanied by a live 8-piece bluegrass band, comprised of excellent local musicians.

The WordPlayers is a 501(c)3 theatre organization based in Knoxville. Bright Star is sponsored by Care Around the Block (Season Sponsor), Warren & Kathy Payne, Aubrey’s, Home Federal Bank, Kiwanis Club of Northside Knoxville, LAMP Foundation, Zazzy Bandz, Dr. Ron & Peggy Turner, Leslie A. Hull - Law & Mediation, and Applegate Insurance. For more information about The WordPlayers, please visit

Published July 7, 2019

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