IN yet another coup for Canberra Theater boss Alex Budd, it was announced this morning (March 7) that the theater has secured the Bob Dylan musical, “Girl From the North Country,” for an August-September season after it hits Adelaide. and Melbourne
The announcement preceded the official subscription season preview set to take place tonight, but one of the show’s stars, Lisa McCune, was on hand to help Budd talk about the show, which has tentatively been billed as a play, for the release of incarceration.
The announcement comes in the wake of two postponements (now until 2023) of the 9/11 musical “Come From Away,” to which the Dylan show has been compared by many.
Described in his review of the Sydney season by “CityNews” reviewer Bill Stephens as “very much an ensemble show,” it features a heavyweight lineup of serious actors including McCune, Zahra Newman, Helen Dallimore, Peter Carroll and Terence Crawford and Greg Stone.
Everyone knows who wrote the 22 songs in “Girl From the North Country”, but the script belongs to the famous Irish playwright Conor McPherson, after he was approached by Bob Dylan’s record company, reimagined Dylan’s songs and created a play. set in the 1930s. era Minnesota, specifically Duluth, Dylan’s hometown. But McPherson and Dylan never met.
The story is set in a guest house and the songs reveal the inner lives of the characters so that, rather than a conventional musical, this is a play with music focusing on the individuals of the guest house, supported by a small, live band that uses simple acoustic instruments of the time.
The piece features famous songs such as “Hurricane”, “Like a Rolling Stone” and “All Along The Watchtower”, as well as “Duquesne Whistle”, the latest Dylan song on the show, and a host of others, such as “Sign on the Window”, “Forever Young” and “Every Grain of Sand”.
“Girl From the North Country”, Canberra Theatre, August 25 to September 3. Bookings open March 10 here or 6275 2700.
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Ian Meikle, editor