Alice Dryden (huskyteer) wrote,
Alice Dryden
huskyteer

  • Mood:

I Feel the Breath of a Storm

I first became aware of Girl from the North Country when I spotted the poster as I rode past the Old Vic one evening. A quick look at the website confirmed that it was indeed a musical based on the songs of Bob Dylan, so I rounded up my friend and fellow-fan Bec, and we saw it last night.

This, let us be clear, is not a feelgood musical. We paid dearly for all our jokes about "Mamma Mia! but with Dylan", I can tell you. It is, however, beautiful, intriguing and moving.

Set in a guesthouse in Duluth, Minnesota (I finally learned it's pronounced 'doo-LOOTH'), the story follows the various lost souls who live or board there through the events of Thanksgiving, 1934, with a bit of mystery and a whiff of the supernatural, in dialogue and song. And what songs, of course.

No greatest hits collection here, but a good spread of older and more recent tunes, familiar and obscure. The instrumentals were a cruel torment of oh-god-I-know-this-what-is-it?

My favourite was probably the bit where 'Hurricane' segued into 'All Along The Watchtower' and then into 'Idiot Wind'. 'I Want You' done as a tender duet broke my heart, then 'Forever Young' broke me altogether.

We had fun tying in songs with characters: a bible salesman to fit in 'Slow Train Coming', a boxer so we could have 'Hurricane'.

There were times when the plot felt a little disjointed, or as if it contained just one hard luck story too many. But the music, the music.

Here's 'Tight Connection To My Heart' as I had never heard it before:

Tags: music, theatre
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