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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
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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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