My friend Bill (a pretty big Dylan fan) has this to report:"Speaking of the "jukebox muaical" I went to see "The Times They Are a Changin" the other night. Absolutely horrible. Almost all bad things imaginable happened. I actually submitted a review to the NY times website, but I was limited to 1500 characters; it was extremely difficult to explain this horror with that limitation. I'll be surprised if this show lasts a week. Still in previews - btw, the program lists the songs in alphabetical order - obvious that they are still jumbling them around trying to make some kind of story. Where exactly would you fit "Mr. Tambourine Man" into the narrative of a plot - it's not about anything!! The so-called choreography was mostly people jumping around the stage, some with the use of trampolines; nothing approaching a spectacle that would be visually engaging."
Hey, on an unrelated note -- did you know Joe Berg played drums for the Billy Joel show?
Now you're just trying to piss me off. The worst part of it is, it seems Dylan has given his blessing on the whole thing... even though he's always tended to downplay the extra-musical importance of these songs (to the disappointment of the die-hard fans), how can anyone justify relegating them all to some kind of silly-ass pieced-together narrative... ahem, "timeless tale" of ragtag clowns and circus performers?I tend to hate Broadway in general, I don't have to tell you that. This, however, is just insulting...
Yeah! I got a backstage view of that one when Joe was on tour with it in Orange County last year. What a mess. He played great, of course, but the show was comical for all the wrong reasons.The NYT tried to justify the Dylan project by arguing that he was influenced by off-Broadway theater when he came to NYC in the 60s -- particularly productions of Jean Genet and Brecht/Weill. Which is fine, but it's a pretty far leap from that stuff to Twyla Tharp.
Have you heard the new album yet? I'm still planning to blog my thoughts on it... but I still can't figure out whether I like it or not. It's mostly just very confusing... Dylan sounds great but his accompaniment borders on the corny... almost ridiculous...
Haven't heard it, so I'd be very curious to read your review.
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