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Acclaimed Broadway Stars Flock to Roanoke for MMT’s Bright Star

The lights of Broadway are about to shine brighter in Roanoke as stars flock to the Star City for Mill Mountain Theatre’s production of “Bright Star.”

Broadway stars James Moye, Mamie Parris and Nick Kepley are heading to Roanoke to work on the upcoming production of “Bright Star” written by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell. This trio has extensive experience on Broadway Stages.

Moye, a Christiansburg native returns to Mill Mountain Theatre to direct “Bright Star” after directing the acclaimed “Million Dollar Quartet” in 2021 at MMT. The James Madison University alum has worked on over 13 Off-Broadway and Broadway productions, including “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Aladdin,” “Dog Fight,” and “Million Dollar Quartet” to name a few. Moye also was a part of the original workshop for “Bright Star” before it hit the Broadway stage.

Parris makes her Trinkle MainStage debut after belting across the globe and on many of Broadway’s largest stages. She sang her way into audiences’ memories after starring as Grizabella in Broadway’s revival of “Cats.” In addition to the Andrew Lloyd Weber classic, Parris rocked audiences as Patty in “School of Rock.” Before she rocked the house, she soared to new heights and defied gravity in the titular role of Elphaba in the first national tour of “Wicked.” Parris tells the “lost lamb” story of the lead character, Alice Murphy.

Kepley, a native of Asheville, NC, returns to Roanoke after previously choreographing Mill Mountain Theatre’s 2018 production of “West Side Story.” In 2015, Kepley joined the choreography behind the renowned Broadway show “Waitress,” and prior to the Broadway debut of “Bright Star,” Kepley collaborated with Josh Rhodes on developing the show’s choreography. Kepley’s versatility shone as a cast member in Disney’s “Mary  Poppins” on Broadway, where they adeptly undertook multiple roles. Adding to their repertoire, Kepley graced the NBC cult-classic show, “SMASH” and PBS’s “Great Performances,” while their earlier years were marked by devoted summers of training at the School of American Ballet and The Juilliard School.

“Bright Star” is a musical with an Appalachian core and bluegrass roots. Inspired by a true story and featuring the Tony®-nominated score by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell, “Bright Star” tells a sweeping tale of love and redemption set against the rich backdrop of the American South 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. With beautiful melodies and powerfully moving characters, the story unfolds as a rich tapestry of deep emotion. An uplifting theatrical journey that holds you tightly in its grasp, “Bright Star” is as refreshingly genuine as it is daringly hopeful.

Similar to the story’s Appalachian roots, the cast includes actors from Appalachia and Southwest Virginia. The cast consists of Ben Armstrong (Ensemble), Danny Borba (Ensemble/Max/Stanford), Sarah Coleman (Ensemble), Sade Crosby (Ensemble/Edna/Clerk), Alaina Droog (Margo), AnnElese Galleo (Ensemble), *Robert Hancock (Mayor/Daddy Cane), Burke Hutchinson (Dr. Norquist/Daryl), *Trevor St. John-Gilbert (Jimmy Ray), Caitlin McAvoy (Lucy), *Jeffrey McGullion (Daddy Murphy), Jenna Leigh Miller (Ensemble/Mamma Murphy/Florence), James Moledor (Ensemble), James Henry Owens (Billy Cane) and *Mamie Parris (Alice Murphy).

“Bright Star” will feature a live band with Sam Saint Ours (Keys/Conductor), JT Fauber (Drums), Michael Havens (Guitar) and Jeff Hofmann (Upright Bass).

The creative team for Bright Star includes James Moye (Director), Ginger Poole (Producing Artistic Director), Nick Kepley (Choreographer), Sam Saint Ours (Music Director), *Peppy Biddy (Production Stage Manager), *Erin Alexis Markham (Assistant Stage Manager), Jimmy Ray Ward (Scenic Designer), Bill Webb (Lighting Designer), l (Props Designer), Jennie Ruhland (Costume Designer), Audrey Hamilton (Costume Designer), Savannah Woodruff (Sound Designer), Matt Shields (Props Designer/Director of Production) and Sydney Poole (Wardrobe).


“Bright Star” will take place from September 13th through October 1st on the Trinkle MainStage. For more information, visit millmountain.org or call the box office at 540-342-5740.

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