I knew nothing about Girl From the North Country before I sat down in my seat at the Belasco Theatre a couple of months ago. I heard Bob Dylan had written the music, but I wasn’t expecting it to be a Dylan jukebox musical. I thought we’d decided that Bob Dylan jukebox musicals was an idea that didn’t have any life left after 2005’s The Times They Are a Changin’. I had bought a ticket to see this show because a friend had seen and loved the London production the year before and I love Mare Winningham, Marc Kudisch, and Luba Mason. However, had I known it was a jukebox musical, I probably would’ve saved my money. Girl From the North Country was about what happens when a couple of passerbys come through this imaginary small town in middle America and spend the night at the local Inn.
It’s an understatement to say that this was too long. An hour and a 45 minutes would have sufficed. The cast was fantastic and I really enjoyed watching everyone on stage. However, by the time the lights went down at the end of Act 2, I realized, wait, who was The Girl From the North Country? If I had to guess, I would say that it was Mare Winningham’s character, or her daughter, but obviously, I have no clue (and that’s how you know there was something missing from the book!).
My only thought after I left the theatre was, “Well, that happened,” if that tells you anything. But to end on a high note: The cast was on point and they made it tolerable to stay in my seat.