October 26, 2006

"A fresh exploration of the timeless tale of a young man's coming of age."

The musical "The Times They Are A-Changin’" opens tonight. Here's a look at how the Broadway folk are interpreting Bob Dylan songs. Even if you're already convinced that there's no way the show could be any good, watching that clip, you'll still wonder if it can really be that bad... can this really be the show? Something is happening here, but I don't know what it is.


Finn Alexander Kristiansen said...

Is it even possible to use the words "fresh exploration" when it comes to Bob Dylan, and when using the oldest and most well known songs from his catalog?

Ann Althouse said...

Did you watch the clip? I've never seen that before.

KCFleming said...

Good God in heaven. That was the most frightening vido clip I have seen this year.

I switched it off after the first lyric. Is there some legal mandate that Broadway Musicals must look campy, ridiculous, and entirely the same as each other?

Dave said...

I can't tell you how much I hate musicals. Just fucking talk like a normal person if you're on stage!

What happened to Shakespeare and Aeschylus?! But I digress.

Happened to see Team America World Police on cable last night and forgot how funny their mockery of Rent was.

MadisonMan said...

What happened to Shakespeare and Aeschylus?! But I digress.

Ah, so you long for classical poetry. So to win your heart I must quote, with ease, Aeschylus and Euripides?

Dave said...

Not necessarily classical poetry. But the stage was designed for speaking. All the singing and dancing seems woefully pretentious and artificial.

Whatever we think of Hamlet's obsequiousness or naivete there is something a hell of a lot more realistic and visceral about his soliloquies than there is with some jackass with a guitar slung around his neck dancing to Dylan moaning about the times and how they are a-changing.

Hell, I'd even take Willy Loman or some other modern--speaking--character.

Randy said...

How timely! A Halloween theatrical that is genuinely frightening, spine-tingling, and blood-curdling.

Hamsun56 said...

This is even worse than I initially feared. I actually thought it might be worthwhile show after reading the NY Times article about Twyla Tharp. But this is a new kind of bad.

Goatwhacker said...

I'd never before thought of Dylan in terms of Hoppity Hops.

Richard Dolan said...

Well, it's certainly a novel take on Dylan. No scruffy, gravel voiced wailing here. They have got to be praying that this show will be a big hit with the tourist trade (a particularly dull part that knows little about Dylan).

Even stranger is that Twyla Tharp has put together a show about a musician, part of whose charm was his physical and vocal awkwardness, where the music is taking second place to the dancing (acrobatics?). Basically, she wants to translate his music into dance. Good luck. (The bit in the clip with the dancers bouncing around with big beach balls suggests that luck, and taste, has completely abandoned her here.)

Has Dylan ever danced a step on stage? I always think of him perched on a stool, with the guitar and that harmonica contraption around his neck.

Palladian said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Palladian said...

Dear God.

Emmett Kelly clowns on Hoppity-Hops? The president of the local chapter of the Young Republicans doing a bad James Cagney impersonation and twirling around a guitar coat rack he made in shop class? All set to Bob Dylan songs?

I imagine the woeful, ironic glances exchanged in the audience when the fresh-faced fetching lad on stage growls in his falsetto growl:

"There must be some way out of here," said the joker to the thief,
"There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief."

Ruth Anne Adams said...

You have to hang on for the very loud "Wow!" from Rosie O'Donnell at the very end.

The dancing/acrobatics was really good. The hoppity-hops were supposed to be "rolling stones" I suspect.

I laughed. I laughed some more. It moved me.

Hamsun56 said...

I've been trying to figure out how to categorize this. It finally came to me - it's "Springtime for Hitler" without the intent to fail.

The critics will have fun with this.

Hamsun56 said...

"Has Dylan ever danced a step on stage?"

He does a few on the Letterman show from the 80's. Some sort of duck walk.

He's in good form here doing a cover version of "Don't start me talking":

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Hamsun56: Are you sure it wasn't produced by Bialystock & Bloom?

Tom T. said...

Somewhat off-topic, but here's Weird Al Yankovic's take on Dylan, using nothing but palindromes: