Girl from the North Country: A satisfying concert, just don’t mind the play
Posted by: Singapore/Fling 11:02 pm EDT 05/14/22

A stunning theatrical concert of Bob Dylan songs interspersed with a ramshackle book that traffics in cliches, red herrings, cheap melodrama, and a questionable grasp on psychology. At best, McPherson’s writing gives the extraordinary cast a chance to show their chops - it’s a shame Craig Bierko didn’t open the show, as he is stunning in his Act 2 dunk scene - but more often it offers loose sketches of poorly grounded plot twists that clash with Dylan’s lyrics.

As others have written here, Mare Winningham is astonishing, a chaotic yet nuanced clown who elevates the entire evening; given a nonsensical role, she takes her cues from Dylan’s music and finds a ferocious truth and an anarchic physicality that sparkle and haunt in equal measure.

When the show sings, it finds joy, beauty, and poetry; it’s just a shame that when the music stops, the whole thing crashes to earth. The cast and the music fight valiantly, but ultimately the book sabotages their best efforts.

Still, the audience tonight loved it, so maybe the music is enough.

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