NEW YORK (AP) — Broadway fans were treated to a surprise performance by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell at the end of their new musical, "Bright Star."
The cast had taken their bows to a standing ovation when part of the set was rotated to reveal Martin and Brickell to thunderous applause at the show's opening Thursday night at the Cort Theater. After they took their bows, director Walter Bobbie walked onstage and handed Martin a banjo. After Martin strapped it on, he launched into "Sun's Gonna Shine," with Brickell and the show's star, Carmen Cusack, trading verses as the audience clapped along.
Martin and Brickell have recorded two albums together, including the Grammy-winning "Love Has Come for You," but "Bright Star" is their first musical. The idea was sparked by the common love they share for musical theater. Martin joked about their tastes at the show's after-party.
"For Edie, it was 'The Sound of Music,' and for me it was 'Music Man' and 'West Side Story.' I have better taste," he said.
Martin talked about how musical theater influenced him and why he wanted to write "Bright Star" with Brickell.
"When you think of 'Carousel' — with songs like 'My Boy Bill,' or 'Soliloquy' as it's called — or 'Oklahoma,' I grew up on those songs, and I thought everything was here," Martin said raising his hand above his head. "And the rest of the music world was down here. They were so emotive and expressive, and we had a longing to give it a shot."
The pair complement one another nicely, but at this point, Martin feels like he's the only one using his words.
"I'm talking a lot, and you're nodding," he says to the soft-spoken Brickell, who tells him: "But I agree with you."
Then she adds: "We wanted to honor the musicals we know and love, and try to write on in the tradition that we love."
Follow AP Entertainment Producer John Carucci at http://www.twitter.com/jacarucci