Friday, October 27, 2006

Slate's Take on Bob Dylan Musical

There is a review of the Bob Dylan musical at Slate. Let's take a look:

"Attend a performance of Twyla Tharp's new Bob Dylan musical The Times They Are A-Changin', and you'll inevitably find yourself wondering: What on earth would Bob Dylan make of this? What would he make of the "Highway 61 Revisited" production number, during which a circus ringleader bellows, "For the first time anywhere … live on our stage … God!"—at which point a dancer, dressed as the white-bearded and be-dreadlocked deity, lurches onstage atop 10-foot stilts? And what about "Like a Rolling Stone," a spectacle that features a mammoth balloon shaped like a circus sideshow fat lady, clowns bouncing on exercise balls, and an earnest young man belting out "How does it feeeel?" while air-strumming an oversized sequined guitar?"

He is Advanced, so of course he loves it.

"The fable, as near as I could make out, involves a down-at-heel circus, a pretty girl in a red dress, and a struggle between a father and son. The circus is presided over, in the gentle manner of Joseph Stalin, by a ringmaster named Capt. Ahrab, whose look is a cross between Christopher Lloyd's wild-eyed scientist in Back to the Future, the Joker from Batman, and Dylan's creepy whiteface get-up on his 1975-76 Rolling Thunder Revue tour. The other dramatis personae are Ahrab's son, Coyote, a rosy-cheeked wuss in suspenders; the girl, Cleo; and several clowns, dressed in Mad Max-style rags, who are forever hurtling their bodies through the air—the action-adventure part, I guess.... The truth is, Bob Dylan on Broadway is just as awkward in practice as it sounds on paper—an aesthetic car crash."

I don't have time to go into this in depth, but it sounds like it might be one of the most Advanced works of art ever.

(Blogger still won't let me post pictures)

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