Steve Martin musical to premier at Vassar College

April 24, 2013 at 7:04 PM

POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y., April 24 (UPI) -- A new musical by actor-writer-musician Steve Martin and singer-songwriter Edie Brickell will premier at New York's Vassar College, the college said Wednesday.

"Bright Star," directed by Walter Bobbie, who won a Tony Award for directing the long-running "Chicago" musical revival, will be performed at the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., college's Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film July 12-14 as part of its Powerhouse Theater summer workshop series, the college said.

Powerhouse is a collaboration between Vassar and New York Stage and Film, a non-profit organization that helps emerging and established artists develop and produce new works.

"Bright Star," which goes back and forth in time between 1945 and 1922, tells the story of a young man who returns to North Carolina's Blue Ridge Mountains after World War II and uncovers "hidden yearnings and dark secrets about his past," the official description says.

The production -- whose 10 cast members will be determined next month -- features a live bluegrass score, including songs from Brickell and Martin's new album "Love Has Come for You."

Martin, 67, won a Grammy Award in 2009 for "The Crow: New Songs for the 5-String Banjo" and the following year created the Steve Martin Prize for Excellence in Banjo and Bluegrass to bring greater visibility to bluegrass performers.

The prize includes a $50,000 cash award, a bronze sculpture and a chance to perform with Martin on "Late Show with David Letterman."

Brickell, 47, is married to singer-songwriter Paul Simon. Her 1988 debut album "Shooting Rubberbands at the Stars," recorded with alternative rock band New Bohemians, featured the hit "What I Am."

Martin and Brickell appeared together on the Letterman program Tuesday and spoke about their musical collaboration. Letterman referred to them as "Steve and Edie," an allusion to 1950s-1970s pop music husband-and-wife duo Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme.

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