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Dylan show bombs on Broadway

Cool Beans 08 Nov 06 - 07:53 PM
mack/misophist 08 Nov 06 - 08:20 PM
catspaw49 08 Nov 06 - 09:56 PM
McGrath of Harlow 08 Nov 06 - 09:58 PM
SINSULL 08 Nov 06 - 10:21 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 08 Nov 06 - 10:21 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Nov 06 - 06:58 AM
Seamus Kennedy 09 Nov 06 - 08:17 AM
JJ 09 Nov 06 - 08:33 AM
Wesley S 09 Nov 06 - 08:49 AM
Big Al Whittle 09 Nov 06 - 09:12 AM
Steve-o 09 Nov 06 - 12:34 PM
The Shambles 09 Nov 06 - 12:38 PM
catspaw49 09 Nov 06 - 12:41 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Nov 06 - 12:55 PM
McGrath of Harlow 09 Nov 06 - 01:10 PM
Jeremiah McCaw 09 Nov 06 - 02:04 PM
Clinton Hammond 09 Nov 06 - 02:33 PM
GUEST,wordy 09 Nov 06 - 02:50 PM
Little Hawk 09 Nov 06 - 02:59 PM
Cool Beans 09 Nov 06 - 03:23 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Nov 06 - 06:10 PM
GUEST,Bloody hell 09 Nov 06 - 06:15 PM
Little Hawk 09 Nov 06 - 06:27 PM
Big Al Whittle 09 Nov 06 - 07:51 PM
GUEST 09 Nov 06 - 08:01 PM
Little Hawk 09 Nov 06 - 10:55 PM
M.Ted 10 Nov 06 - 02:15 AM
JJ 10 Nov 06 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Bloody Hell 10 Nov 06 - 01:52 PM
Cool Beans 10 Nov 06 - 03:56 PM
M.Ted 10 Nov 06 - 04:51 PM
M.Ted 10 Nov 06 - 05:05 PM
Little Hawk 10 Nov 06 - 05:09 PM
M.Ted 10 Nov 06 - 05:37 PM
GUEST,Old Yorker 11 Nov 06 - 11:39 AM
SINSULL 11 Nov 06 - 11:58 AM
SINSULL 11 Nov 06 - 11:59 AM
GUEST,Bloody Hell 12 Nov 06 - 11:57 AM
JJ 13 Nov 06 - 08:31 AM
GUEST,Bloody Hell 13 Nov 06 - 10:54 AM
M.Ted 13 Nov 06 - 12:14 PM
Little Hawk 13 Nov 06 - 12:30 PM
jbailes 13 Nov 06 - 12:52 PM
M.Ted 13 Nov 06 - 01:13 PM
Little Hawk 13 Nov 06 - 01:18 PM
SINSULL 13 Nov 06 - 01:37 PM
M.Ted 13 Nov 06 - 09:55 PM
GUEST,Hmm. Well, I suppose. 13 Nov 06 - 10:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Nov 06 - 08:36 PM
JJ 15 Nov 06 - 09:11 AM
GUEST,Bloody Hell 16 Nov 06 - 01:52 AM
Cool Beans 16 Nov 06 - 07:24 AM
M.Ted 16 Nov 06 - 11:41 AM
Scoville 16 Nov 06 - 12:42 PM
Desdemona 16 Nov 06 - 02:03 PM
GUEST,Mr Bloody Hell to you 16 Nov 06 - 07:28 PM
Little Hawk 16 Nov 06 - 07:37 PM
Cool Beans 16 Nov 06 - 07:45 PM
M.Ted 16 Nov 06 - 07:49 PM
Little Hawk 16 Nov 06 - 09:48 PM
SINSULL 16 Nov 06 - 10:02 PM
M.Ted 17 Nov 06 - 01:13 AM
Desdemona 17 Nov 06 - 09:29 AM
Cool Beans 17 Nov 06 - 11:09 AM
M.Ted 17 Nov 06 - 04:23 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 17 Nov 06 - 04:37 PM
M.Ted 17 Nov 06 - 04:51 PM
Desdemona 17 Nov 06 - 04:55 PM
GUEST,dax 17 Nov 06 - 04:55 PM
WFDU - Ron Olesko 17 Nov 06 - 05:00 PM
M.Ted 17 Nov 06 - 06:27 PM
Desdemona 17 Nov 06 - 08:28 PM
JJ 18 Nov 06 - 08:44 AM
M.Ted 18 Nov 06 - 04:26 PM
JJ 20 Nov 06 - 08:16 AM
Cool Beans 20 Nov 06 - 11:34 AM
George Papavgeris 20 Nov 06 - 01:22 PM
Desdemona 20 Nov 06 - 03:58 PM
M.Ted 20 Nov 06 - 05:57 PM
JJ 22 Nov 06 - 08:13 AM
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Subject: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Cool Beans
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 07:53 PM

"The Times They Are A-Changin'" Twyla Tharp's show built around Bob Dylan's songs has posted a closing notice for Nov. 19. If anyone was planning to see it, this is your last chance. The show got hammered by the New York critics and will lose all of its $8.5 million investment.
I read many of those bad reviews but they made the show sound interesting. I'm sorry I'll never get to see it. On the other hand, that's another $100 I won't have to spend.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: mack/misophist
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 08:20 PM

IMHO. Twyla Tharp has always been way overated. Furthermore, imagining her style and Dylan's combined makes my stomach ache.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: catspaw49
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 09:56 PM

Hit me a little lower Mack.......Kinda' gave me the shits.   I'm surprised it didn't close even sooner.........just not a great idea if anyone had asked me.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 09:58 PM

I keep on reading this as "Dylan shows bombs on Broadway". I suppose that reflects the times we live in.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: SINSULL
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 10:21 PM

Well, it lasted longer than Donnie Osmonds "Little Johnnie Jones" which closed in opening previews when only his parents and sister attended. He was not a Yankee Doodle Dandy.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 08 Nov 06 - 10:21 PM

Don't mourn over much. Just because the songs are great doesn't mean the production is. Just because Dylan (reportedly) approved of the staging doesn't mean it is.
Go here for a vid of a cast appearance on "The View" to get an idea of what you (haven't) missed.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 06:58 AM

Don't know much about Twyla Tharp, but her name appears on a Lenny Bruce album cover, and in the credits for Amadeus - that's pretty cool by my reckoning. Lenny knew quality when saw it, and Amadeus was a masterpiece.

What do frigging critics know anyway...? I'd be pretty cautious accepting the verdict of New York critics about anything - they were the ones who managed to kill off the first staging of Oklahoma - gang of idiots!


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 08:17 AM

Why does the plot of 'The Producers' keep coming to mind?

Seamus


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: JJ
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 08:33 AM

"I'd be pretty cautious accepting the verdict of New York critics about anything - they were the ones who managed to kill off the first staging of Oklahoma - gang of idiots! "

What the devil are you talking about? The first production of OKLAHOMA! ran for five years.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Wesley S
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 08:49 AM

The "Lennon" show bombed too. But shows about the Four Seasons and ABBA are hits? To quote Danny Kaye in "White Christmas" :

"The theater - the theater - what has happened to the theater?"


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 09:12 AM

Obviously I was misinformed.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Steve-o
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 12:34 PM

Hey, if Paul Simon can bomb, Bobby has every right to bomb. And "he approved the staging"??? We all know how good he is at that stuff, judging from his movies, right? Why do these guys feel the need to do this kind of junk? Whoever put up the $8.5 million deserves to have his Twyla tharped!


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: The Shambles
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 12:38 PM

Spamalot was a hit............

Did Bob's show have any Spam in it?


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: catspaw49
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 12:41 PM

Seamus, I think you might have it right!

Spaw


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 12:55 PM

"What do frigging critics know anyway...?"

Probably a lot more than most people in this thread....


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 01:10 PM

Why? They're paid to write readable columns in the press. And its much easier to be funny knocking things than praising them.

Ideally it'd be better to have a system where a critic would only write reviews of stuff they thought was good or enjoyable. "Didn't like it" would be sufficient to deal with the stuff they didn't like. That would take away the pressure to knock stuff just for the sake of being entertaining.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Jeremiah McCaw
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 02:04 PM

But McGrath, that would mean that film critics like Rex Reed simply wouldn't have a career!

Hmm, not such a bad thing. :-)


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Clinton Hammond
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 02:33 PM

"Why? They're paid to write readable columns in the press."

And how do you think they EARN those jobs? By showing that they are knowledgable in that subject....

" good or enjoyable"
Like the two are the same thing.... Not! Let's not confuse Like&Dislike with Good&Bad o.k...... Any critic worth his salt knows the difference....


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: GUEST,wordy
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 02:50 PM

Well, I've watched the video.
Dear oh dear!
Good grief!
What!!!!!


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 02:59 PM

As I said when I posted earlier (but my post inexplicably vanished...ALERT!!! Shambles! ALERT!!! ;-) ) ...

I may have seen a worse live performance of "Like A Rolling Stone"...but I'm not sure when! YECCCCHHHH!

Truly laughable. Looks like the critics are right on the mark to me.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Cool Beans
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 03:23 PM

Hey, Jeremiah, thanks for the video link. I just watched it. It was risibly godawful, like a Las Vegas revue but without the taste.
The chorus line kick on the line "You shouldn't let other people get your KICKS (emphasis theirs) for you" was the piece de resistance. That's the first thing an amateur director would think of doing--and then, if she/he were a good amateur director, decide NOT to do.
The prop fake guitar was also priceless. I used to think the Brady Bunch singing "American Pie" was the low point of western civilization but I am doing some serious re-thinking.
No wonder the show bombed.
P.S., I am a theater critic, that's what I do for a living (far from New York), and I'm enjoying the conversation.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 06:10 PM

I knew I had read something about the initial reaction of the critics to Oklahoma:-

"When the show opened for previews in New Haven in March 1943, Variety gave it a poor review and columnist Walter Winchell reported his secretary's cold dismissal – "No gags, no girls, no chance."


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: GUEST,Bloody hell
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 06:15 PM

Broadway showtune culture is for morons in the audience and attention whores on the stage. Everyone involved with this sort of drivel should be ashamed. This fool looked like Macaulay Culkin channeling Mork. The only thing worse than the "performance" was Joy Behar and Rosie O'Donnell whoring it up in the intro. Those two have to go.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 06:27 PM

Interesting that you should put it that way, Guest, Bloody Hell. That sums up in a nutshell my own reaction to about 98% of Broadway showtune culture. It's never interested me and never attracted me. I'm a huge Dylan fan. It strikes me as an exercise in consummate foolishness to try to turn his songs into a Broadway musical.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 07:51 PM

I'm not sure why you should feel that.

Perhaps once, these guys were a breed apart - but The Beatles, The Who, Abba, Queen have all had their songs made into musicals.

Dylan's songs have quiet elegaic moods, hard rocking moods, simple love song moods, comic story telling moods - theres a huge diversity.

And so many of them were autobiographical in nature - even if not in strict truth. There whole of his work is full of fascinating stories, and god knows the people who have a walk on part in that guys life are amongst the most intriguing and interesting people of the 20th century.

If they really can't devise a couple of hours entertainment from his life and songs - they must be pretty stupid. Ralph McTell is doing a sort of tribute show to his heroes at the moment and Dylan is amongst them. There must be dozens of people doing good business as Dylan tributes.

if they have gone wrong, I can't imagine how they have done it.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: GUEST
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 08:01 PM

I think Dillon plays better south of Canal Street.
Wahck Fall the Day
Nick


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Little Hawk
Date: 09 Nov 06 - 10:55 PM

Well, I agree that Bob's material lends itself to tribute shows...it's just a fact that I generally don't care much for Broadway musicals. Not to say I don't like ANY of them...it's just a genre that doesn't attract me much.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 02:15 AM

I've never liked Twyla Tharp--her choreographies are so gimmicky that MTV looks tasteful
in comparison. Her stuff is only about one thing, and that is to show how clever Twyla Tharp is--

She was successful with the Billy Joel show, "Movin' Out", and, generally,right after you do a big hit, they'll bankroll you for any damn fool thing you come up with, after which you become poison--

I am hearing that even Twyla Tharp fans hate this show. And this show is so bad that the "so bad it's good" people are fighting over tickets for the last show--there are some very talented performers in it, though, and I do feel sorry for them--


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: JJ
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 08:31 AM

Ah, weelittledrummer, the famous "No girls, no gags, no chance" comment was made when the show was in New Haven and still called AWAY WE GO.

Many an out-of-town flop has been saved, and this was one. After New Haven the show went to Boston, where Rodgers, Hammerstein, et al made changes, and came to Broadway with a new title, OKLAHOMA! It was a smash.

Good thing the Internets wuzzn't yet invented, or it would have died in New Haven!


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: GUEST,Bloody Hell
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 01:52 PM

There's no dearth of fools who will seek out the dilute abstractions of showtune culture, and that gasbag Billy Joel was perfect for the job.   

Another axample of this sort of idiocy was Bette Midler in "The Rose"; a completely square showtune-culture take on an ostensibly Joplinesque model. Midler has always had that once-removed, make-it-all-into-campy-Broadway air that undercuts any sort of directness and authenticity she tries to convey.

Actually, The Who have always been that way, too, despite the posturing. "Tommy" sounded to me like showtune-culture crap back then. "Maximum R&B" indeed... what bollocks. They never played any sort of R&B. Daltry was perfect for the "Jesus Christ Superstar" era; pity he never got to fulfill his role in that show.

Perhaps Bob thought, "Go ahead, Twyla, knock yourself out. Show the world your twerpy interpretations and define yourself that way. The songs are still there when you're done arting them up".


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Cool Beans
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 03:56 PM

Not that he needs the money, but Bob stood to reap substantial royalties from a long-running Broadway show. Wonder if there'll be a cast album. They do that sometimes for shows that flop, or in a few cases, that close before they reach Broadway,Sondheim's "Bounce" being one such. NOM (not our music) but it's quite good.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 04:51 PM

Actually, the internet is a great help to shows that are in development, JJ--a lot of people follow shows from readings and workshops through initial productions, rewrites, restagings, etc, to Broadway and beyond--


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 05:05 PM

I am not sure where the money for the Dylan show came from, but it is said that Tharp was asked by Bob himself to do the show. Publically, he said that he was please with the results--as to "Bounce", Cool Beans, it was one of those shows that was one show in act one and another one in act two. Sondheim never gives up on stuff, though, and it will be back. I'm going to see the new version of "Company" tonight--a show which was more famous for the documentary about the production of the cast album, than for it's short life on Broadway. I've seen two great non-broadway productions of it though, and am hoping that this one makes it--


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Little Hawk
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 05:09 PM

I definitely think they should preserve that particular performance version of "Like A Rolling Stone" and take it on nationwide tour...along with several other similarly visceral Dylan songs, such as "It's All Right, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)", "Gates of Eden", "Jokerman", "Foot of Pride", "Subterranean Homesick Blues", "Idiot Wind"....hell just think what Twyla could do with those! Yowch!

They could play concert halls everywhere, same guy with same fake guitar, same dancers, and do it strictly for laughs. It'd be the funniest damn show in years.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 10 Nov 06 - 05:37 PM

As Leonard Pinth Garnell used to say, "Deliciously Bad." I will not argue. I am hoping that there is a video of the show somewhere, it looks like it might be a good deal funnier than "Spamalot"


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: GUEST,Old Yorker
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 11:39 AM

I understand there's a review of this show in The New Yorker magazine this week...


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 11:58 AM

Oh dear god! Why was there a dog humping a medicine ball?
Step step kick kick!
Spring time for Hitler and Germany
Dah dah ta dah dah!

The only thing missing was Bill Shatner. How could they not have known how bad it was?


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: SINSULL
Date: 11 Nov 06 - 11:59 AM

Second thoughts: if that is what Broadway is offering, is there not a place on the Great White Way for The Ladies of the Club?


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: GUEST,Bloody Hell
Date: 12 Nov 06 - 11:57 AM

Hmm. Maybe. Don't know the show.

Does it feature cheesy, spandexed attention-whores and craptastic dance routines?

Is the choreography by a tired Downtowner?

I know of one who needs a job. Her show just folded.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: JJ
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 08:31 AM

"Actually, the internet is a great help to shows that are in development, JJ--a lot of people follow shows from readings and workshops through initial productions, rewrites, restagings, etc, to Broadway and beyond--"

It's a great help to the people who follow shows, M. Ted.

It's not much help to the people who are trying to put together those shows out of town (see: THE PIRATE QUEEN in Chicago or HIGH FIDELITY in Boston) to have their perceived shortcomings broadcast to millions every day by anyone with an Internet connection.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: GUEST,Bloody Hell
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 10:54 AM

I guess you're right, JJ. And it would be irresponsible of me to broadcast my opinions about the cheesy, spandexed, pirate-garbed, attention whores and craptastic dance routines in THE PIRATE QUEEN.

I should wait until I've paid a few hundred bucks for tickets and a babysitter, and sat through the final curtain of the attention whores belting "Don't Cry For Me, Brittania", before I doom the show with my all-powerful rogue commentary. My crass opinions carry a tremendous amount of weight around the web.   

HIGH FIDELITY I simply cannot wait to see. I assume that the high concept is to take off on the film of a few years ago. This means I'll get to hear the diminished, abstracted and squared off versions of all the pop music mentioned in the record store. That. Is. Going. To. Be. Fan. Tastic.

Only thing better than that would be if some hip Downtowner did up, say, dancey declamations of Dylan songs... maybe set the thing in a circus! Circus are fun! Everybody loves a circus populated by spandexed attention whores!


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 12:14 PM

I was really wrong about "The Times They Are a Changin", I saw it yesterday, and it is wonderful-I am now truly sad that it is going to close--the dancing is incredible--the performers truly love and believe in the material and they perform with an energy and spirit that makes it irresistable--

The audience loves it--in the midst of a wild standing ovation at the end Thom Sesma, who plays the role of Captain Ahrab, teared up as he told us, "Thank you for giving us our show back."

If you are put off by the clip from "The View", remember that dance/Theatre/music are an interaction between audience and performers, and a video clip can't really capture it--when "Like A Rolling Stone" happens on the stage, it looks and feels very different than what you see at the link above-

For one thing, no video clip can capture the excitement of hearing a real band playing Dylan tunes in a real theater--


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 12:30 PM

Hmm. Well, I suppose. These shows often are a whole lot better when you see them live. Same goes for jazz or blues (in my opinion).


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: jbailes
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 12:52 PM

i agree with m.ted. i saw the show in san diego last february and i loved it. fabulous singing and spectacle. some of the posts in this thread have a jaundiced tone.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 01:13 PM

I think you would have enjoyed it, LH--


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Little Hawk
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 01:18 PM

Maybe so. Anyway, I appreciate it when anyone does a tribute to Bob Dylan. His songs cover such an amazingly wide spectrum of themes that they make for a very rich resource of material, that's for sure.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: SINSULL
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 01:37 PM

The Standing Ovation used to be reserved for an incredible performance. Now it is the staple of every Sunday afternoon matinee. Sorry, but that just doesn't prove the show was good.

On the other hand, when I lived in NYC, I attended pre-opening shows regularly and made it a rule never to read the reviews until I had formed my own opinion. Some critics take great glee in destroying years of work with a sophisticated turn of phrase or just plain bitchy remarks. "Titanic" was one I thought brilliantly staged with fantastic choreography and music. The critics ripped it apart.Their main complaint was that someone was making a profit off of a terrible tragedy. Didn't Showboat make money off of years of slavery?

I hated "A Chorus Line" and "Annie" but loved "Grand Hotel" and "The Secret Garden" (also panned). "Damn Yankees" with Jerry Lewis was a nice surprise. I expected to hate it but...


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 09:55 PM

I've heard a lot of "matinee" standing ovations myself--you can recognize them, because when the crowd rises, they're holding their coats--My most recent MSO Shows have been the new version of "Company", and the revival of "A Chorus Line"--Interestingly, at a lot of Off-Broadway shows, the audiences tend not to stand--

TTTAAC has heart--it's basically a dance piece--the story, such as there is, is abstract--like so many of Dylan's songs, the story is not what it's about--and, as is also true of Dylan, you can take it all in, and feel like you understand it, without ever knowing what it's about.

Anyway, while I'm at it--"Grey Gardens", with Christine Ebersole, based on the documentary of the same name, is the show to see, possibly over and over again--it's not your typical musical about reclusive old ladies who live with 53 cats--


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: GUEST,Hmm. Well, I suppose.
Date: 13 Nov 06 - 10:25 PM

Columnist Jon Carroll in the SF Chronicle 11/13/06:

"...I have two observations:

(1) There sure are a lot of great dancers in NY city...

(2) Alas, singers were also hired, and therefore the show resembled nothing so much as a very special two-hour Bob Dylan edition of "American Idol". "


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Nov 06 - 08:36 PM

"good or enjoyable" Like the two are the same thing....

No, Clinton. That's why I said "or".
........................
As for "And how do you think they EARN those jobs? By showing that they are knowledgeable in that subject..."   

The important thing is that the editor, or the accountants (or whoever runs the business), has decided that the column helps to sell papers, or to get advertising revenue, or whatever. They may be right, they may be wrong - but there is no reason to assume that "being knowledgeable" has anything to do with it. If the critic is actually some good, that is a bonus, a lucky accident even. Just so long as that doesn't get in the way of selling papers etc.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: JJ
Date: 15 Nov 06 - 09:11 AM

Thank you, Guest Bloody Hell, for proving my point, you clever devil, you.

You are not the only one with deep misgivings about both THE PRIATE QUEEN and HIGH FIDELITY. But in years past, you might have told perhaps five or six of your friends how much you disliked these two shows before their Broadway openings.

Now, through the Miracle of Mudcat, you can tell ... perhaps those five or six of us here who enjoy both folk music and the "Broadway showtune culture!"

But I've gotten $30 tickets for Thu 16 Nov, and will see if I agree with M. Ted about Twyla's TIMES or not.

Pity I've given up drugs...


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: GUEST,Bloody Hell
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 01:52 AM

Deep misgivings? JJ, about shit such as The PIRATE QUEEN and HIGH FIDELITY, my misgivings could be only shallow. Spend your money, and do let us know. Some of us have the gene to comprehend showtunes, some of us don't. Same thing with Barbra Streisand, or the Patron Saint of self-pity, Judy Garland. Or God Himself, Ol' Blue Eyes.

Life's too short to worship at the porcelain altar, is all. Enjoy yourself immensely! Come back and set us right. Me especially.

You haven't given up drugs at all, JJ; you just popped $30 for a cultural laxative.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Cool Beans
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 07:24 AM

If "The Times They Are A-Changing'" were a hit you'd be paying $110 for those tickets. Always look on the bright side of life. Wait, that's another show...


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 11:41 AM

Bloody Hell is just another misguided soul who mistakes his own prejudices for good taste. I am sure he has porcelain idols of his own, and, I doubt that they are better than any of the stuff he's taken potshots at--just different, as they say--


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Scoville
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 12:42 PM

Oh, Lord--I didn't even make it all the way through the video.

How embarrassing. Really. I'm laughing AND crying.

I'm not saying it's bad to sing and dance, I'm just saying that Dylan maybe isn't the best thing for it.

On the other hand, "enjoyable" isn't the same thing as good OR bad, so there's sort of no point in arguing about personal taste.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Desdemona
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 02:03 PM

The times sure *are* a-changin', when old Bobby--no matter how cynical he comes off at various times--would consent to this variety of sell-out, if only because it makes him look like an elderly panderer to middle-class, middle-aged sensibilities.

To my mind, wouldn't there once have been an essential cognitive dissonance inherent in hearing "Bob Dylan" and "Broadway show" in the same sentence?! It surprises me that this thing ever even made it off the proverbial drawing board, there's just something basically WRONG with the concept, you know?!

~D


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: GUEST,Mr Bloody Hell to you
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 07:28 PM

So, M Ted, if I don't agree with the point of view of the resident critic, I'm misguided? Does someone think we need guidance? Come off your own porcelain throne!

No, Mr Professional Arbiter of Good Taste, I'm simply, and directly, stating a nearly sixty-year old opinion within a musical forum, about an area of the commercial music world that I find repugnant. I'm fully aware that there are folks who will keep nonsense like "CATS" or "SWEENEY TODD" on the boards, and guess what? I honestly and sincerely think that's too bad. I don't think it says much good about us as a culture.

And I'm not making an effort here to wear a sophisticate's mask in stating my opinion. I find the uncritical acceptance of this low-level entertainment depressing. If you're able to make some peace with it, fine; but don't expect everyone to praise Emperor's Technicolor Dreamcoat.

As a professional musician, there's a lot of the commercial and pop music world that I find shallow, stupid, and grandiose, and the musical theatre being discussed falls into that camp. There are a great number of popular and traditional musicians and artists I care about, and many of them turn up here at Mudcat in discussion. (Believe it or not, M Ted, I've looked back over your posts, and find that I agree with you about nearly everything else.)

Dylan is a major artist; and this production has all the look of some anemic, derivative show-culture "take" on something authentic and vital. I'm not the sort who declares everything musical to be beautiful in its own way. I think there's some ridiculous shit being piped into our cultural habitat, and it bugs me when it becomes glorified by critics like yourself who are hoping to keep theatres full, and yourself in print. Personally, I think that show culture as a whole is decadent and not worth defending.

And in a room where most everyone is saying, "Aw, give it a chance", I feel the urge to speak up. It's crap, friends. Yes, it's Live Dylan Songs conveyed abstractly by pretty people in tights, and you can sit in a nice chair and tap your foot. But it's crap. It was one of Bob's worse ideas. I don't rush to defend it because it's Bob, and I don't make allowances for the dumbing-down necessary to bring any derivative swill to Broadway.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 07:37 PM

Hey, all of Bob's peers and fans from his own youth ARE middle-aged or elderly now, and most of them are middle-class too.....who the hell else is he supposed to pander to, Desdemona? ;-) You can't stay 22 forever, you know.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Cool Beans
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 07:45 PM

You can't? Uh oh.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 07:49 PM

I am not sure what middle class -middle age sensibilities Twyla Tharp plays to--the show is a modern dance piece--modern dance isn't exactly on the table next to the Rice Krispies in most homes, and this piece is edgy, at that.

And it is as funny as Dylan is funny, which is pretty funny. Also, in the Dylanesque fashion, it juxtaposes the funny with moments that are not funny at all.

And, Desdemona, if you can have a Broadway show called "Urintown", and if you can have a Broadway show about Florence Foster Jenkins, if you can have a show about Eva Peron, if you can have musical about IRA terrorists--you ought to be able to find a place for Dylan, too--


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Little Hawk
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 09:48 PM

What we really need is a Broadway show about Don Cherry...


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: SINSULL
Date: 16 Nov 06 - 10:02 PM

There was a Beatles on Broadway show about 15 years back. It wasn't bad. And the music was great.
So maybe they need a Dylan impersonator or the man himself to sing hios songs, tell his story and eliminate the dancing.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Nov 06 - 01:13 AM

Mr. Bloody Hell, if you knew me, you'd know that I don't accept anything uncritically--and Mr. Professional Arbiter of Good Taste is maybe one of the nicer things I have been called. So I graciously accept the title.

As a professional musician, and and a venerable one at that, you are entitled to ranting against whatever suits you, and you're welcome to do it. If I offended you, in any way, by pointing out that your comments lean more toward ranting than to actual opinion, I am truly sorry.

If you agree with me on most things, it is probably good that we disagree on musical theatre, though I'll bet we disagree on hundreds of other things that just haven't come up yet.

At any rate, the one inexcusable offense you've committed is to accuse me of liking "CATS" and "SWEENEY TODD"--


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Desdemona
Date: 17 Nov 06 - 09:29 AM

I suppose what I meant by "middle-aged" was less chronological than ideological...while we all know that the 1960s are not only well & truly over, and that the "counterculture" was ultimately as big a flop as this how apparently is, it still seems kinda white bread to package Bob Dylan for people who like showtunes. Just my opinion!

~D


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Cool Beans
Date: 17 Nov 06 - 11:09 AM

Other than Ted and JJ (whose critique we eagerly await), who among us actually has seen "The Times They Are A-Changin'"? More to the point, who among us freely criticizing or defending the show has actually seen it? I have not seen it. I have seen that video which Ted says is misleading, so I'm reserving all further judgement.
I agree with Ted that anything is fair game for musicalization. It all depends on the writer and composer.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Nov 06 - 04:23 PM

Is there something wrong with people who like show tunes, Desdemona?


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Nov 06 - 04:37 PM

"To my mind, wouldn't there once have been an essential cognitive dissonance inherent in hearing "Bob Dylan" and "Broadway show" in the same sentence?! It surprises me that this thing ever even made it off the proverbial drawing board, there's just something basically WRONG with the concept, you know?!"


Give us a rest. "sell out"????   "wrong concept"?? Where does anyone come off making decisions as to what others should do? The ego involved in making a statement like that amazes me.

The show sucked because the show sucked. Twyla Tharp is an innovative dance legend and Dylan is an innovative musical legend. This should have been an intriguing show, but it wasn't. End of story.    To come off saying that it should never have been made in the first place is playing Monday morning quarterback with someone elses art. It just isn't right to do.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Nov 06 - 04:51 PM

Did you see it, Ron?


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Desdemona
Date: 17 Nov 06 - 04:55 PM

"Is there something wrong with people who like show tunes?"

Certainly not; my mom is a great fan of Rogers & Hammerstein musicals & I have many happy childhood associations with them. As the much younger sister of "baby boomers", I've been listened to Dylan all my life, and I'm well aware of Twyla Tharp's credentials, having spent many years as a dancer when I was growing up. It just seemed an odd "fit" to my mind; sorry to have caused so much indignation!

for my part, I'm looking forward to the Broadway musical version of "The Tin Drum"!

~D


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: GUEST,dax
Date: 17 Nov 06 - 04:55 PM

I watched the video but just could not believe anything could be that bad! Where in hell did they find that prop guitar. If Dylan approved this piece of shit then I guess he has slipped badly.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: WFDU - Ron Olesko
Date: 17 Nov 06 - 05:00 PM

Actually no I did not see it. When I said "the show sucked because the show sucked" was meant to be interpreted as the show should stand or fall on its own merits, not because it just seems like a "sell out" of an idea.   I am not trying to judge the show at all.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 17 Nov 06 - 06:27 PM

Uh, OK, Ron--and dax, when you see the choreography on stage, it doesn't look like the video clip at all--and Desdemona, "The Tin Drum" could be pretty good--


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Desdemona
Date: 17 Nov 06 - 08:28 PM

Oh, yeah, I'm so down with it; and then they can do "Native Son" on ice!

>;~)

~D


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: JJ
Date: 18 Nov 06 - 08:44 AM

I saw THE TIMES THEY ARE A'CHANGIN' on Thursday night, fearing that it might be (pace Bloody Hell) not a laxative but an emetic. Or perhaps worse, that it might open up the sluices at both ends, to quote Cool Beans' beloved Monty Python.

It wasn't as bad as I had feared. This is not the same thing as saying it was good...

The three singing characters (older man, younger man, woman) have pop/rockish voices rather than legitimate Broadway ones, which avoids the effect that occurs when (for example) Leontyne Price sings "What I Did For Love," a phenomenon that reminds one of someone trying to dribble a bowling ball.

But behind these three singers are an ensemble of seven very talented dancers, usually dressed as clowns, because we are in some kind of circus.

It's rather like watching Dylan songs as interpreted by Cirque du Soleil. If you like this sort of thing, this is the sort of thing you will like. But it didn't do much for me.

Twyla Tharp tells us in a program note that events in this Oedipal struggle will occur with the logic of dreams. What this means in practice is that nothing has to connect with anything in any logical pattern as Twyla merrily plays musical theatre without the net.

Example: the female character shows up with her coat on and carrying a suitcase. She sings, "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right." And then she doesn't leave.

Musically, a lot of the solos come off decently, although the ensemble numbers "Rainy Day Women #12 and 35" and "Maggie's Farm" are pretty horrific. The major singers only howl like they're on American Idol once. And yes, "Like a Rolling Stone," as done with the beach balls is cringe/giggle-inducing.

The audience response to most of the songs was light and baffled applause.

At the end two people in the front row sprang to their feet -- they must have had money in the show -- only to sink down again when they realized this wasn't the curtain call (I thought it was, too) but the finale.

There was no further standing ovation. And on a Broadway where standing ovations are a given, this means something.

I once read a review where the critic called the show in question, "A wretchedly bad idea, incompetently carried out."

Bob will survive -- and I'll bet he got a huge chunk of money up front...


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 18 Nov 06 - 04:26 PM

What did you think of the dancing?


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: JJ
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 08:16 AM

There were six male dancers but only one female dancer, an odd alignment. Extraordinarily talented, of course, but to what end? Lots of acrobatics and tumbling, with trampolines built into the set. It just didn't do a lot for me.

Here is the song list for the show (not in order). It wasn't printed in the program:

"The Times They Are A-Changin'," "Highway 61 Revisited," "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right," "Just Like a Woman," "Like a Rolling Stone," "Everything Is Broken," "Desolation Row," "Rainy Day Women," "Mr. Tambourine Man," "Man Gave Names to All the Animals," "Masters of War," "Blowin' in the Wind," "Please, Mrs. Henry," "On a Night Like This," "Lay Lady Lay," "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight," "Simple Twist of Fate," "Summer Days," "Gotta Serve Somebody," "Not Dark Yet," "Knockin' on Heaven's Door," "Maggie's Farm," "I Believe in You," "Dignity," and "Forever Young."

To give you an idea of what you missed, you may find a couple of pictures here:
www.playbill.com/news/article/103635.html

And the TV commercial is here:
www.timestheyareachangin.com


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Cool Beans
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 11:34 AM

For a list of the songs in order, go here:
http://www.ibdb.com/production.asp?id=423560
And click on "songs in this production," which appears near the top of the file.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: George Papavgeris
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 01:22 PM

Why did the lead mime artist/dancer (for he surely wasn't singing) pout and move like Elvis Presley? Did he confuse the two giants from before his time?

And why did some of the cast from Cats gyrate in the background with big balls representing "rolling stones" as if we have to see the physical representation of an idea to enjoy a song better? Choreography? No - this was a set of "actions to a song" fit for the kindergarten.

$100 to see this? And why wouldn't I buy Dylan's CDs instead?

sIr jOhn would have a word for it.


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: Desdemona
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 03:58 PM

Gee, and *I* thought it sounded like crap...!

~D


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: M.Ted
Date: 20 Nov 06 - 05:57 PM

It's a dance piece, George--and audience reactions may vary, they weren't excited at the performance JJ saw, but I am told that they brought down the house last night, which was, sadly enough, the last night--incidentally, though you may have missed it JJ, there was another woman in the ensemble--


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Subject: RE: Dylan show bombs on Broadway
From: JJ
Date: 22 Nov 06 - 08:13 AM

Another woman in the ensemble? In my Playbill I see only Lisa Gajda among the seven dancers.

The other six are all men: Neil Haskell, Jason McDole, Charlie Neshyba-Hodges, Jonathan Nosan, John Selya and Ron Todorowski.

Final performances of shows, btw, always attract the show's dedicated fans, so the audience's reaction that night is atypical.


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