November 15, 2006
Ain't no use to sit and wonder why, Bob
Dylan's songs were, for me, exhilaratingly liberated from all of the historical baggage that they have been laden with. This, the great achievement of the show, was clearly and ironically one of the main sticking points for the critics. Many of them perceived the songs as less powerful, stripped of the associations that they clearly prefer to hold onto in their own minds (Vietnam, the sixties, and the same old malarkey). To this attendee, it was nothing short of glorious to hear these songs not as symbols or as anthems for any avaricious ideologies, but as the profound and revealing meditations on human nature that they are -- and as just damned great songs to boot. The show was by turns humorous, poignant, frivolous and somber -- and all of this, every twist and angle -- came right out of the Bob Dylan songs themselves.
Right you be, RWB. It reminds me of the time Pete Seeger tried to pull the plug on Bob Dylan's electric band, because the true folk-singers knew what Bob Dylan is supposed to sound like.
And so do I. Something that stretches your imagination, hints at possibilities, and takes you someplace you haven't been before. Something that sounds different and new every time you hear it.
Hopefully Twyla Tharp's amazing production will reopen in more hick towns like San Diego, where the theater critics aren't quite as informed as those who tell New Yorkers what's worth seeing.
Posted by James Hamilton at November 15, 2006 02:16 PMdigg this | reddit
Ok, let's start the BBQ and roast every last one of them NYC theatre critics before it's too late. San Diego (hickville) loved it, but 8 days was too much for the NYC crowd. And the difference? Well, San Diego has no need for theatre critics because people make up their own minds (that being a simple task according to the NYers) --not like in NYC where there are only proxy minds and people need to be given directives on what is worthy and what is not (according to San Diego hicks of course)?
Might be a tougher audience to crack ( NY walnuts) but I bet if it were even half-assed good, people would've packed it for more than 8 days. Shows don't merely fold on the theatre critic's review it seems to me.
Posted by: calmo at November 16, 2006 04:05 PM
We used to import a lot of theatre from the La Jolla Playhouse. Maybe we still do.
Maybe Twyla Tharp needed to do more than just pretend Zimmy was Billy Joel, too.
After all, the ABBA musical has run for five years.
Posted by: Ken Houghton at November 16, 2006 09:27 PM
I dunno. If I want to see "the profound and revealing meditations on human nature that they are -- and as just damned great songs to boot," I'll go to a Dylan concert. Don't need to spend more to see some dancers as well, if they're not adding anything to the music. Which is what RWB seems to be saying.
Posted by: Ken Houghton at November 16, 2006 09:29 PM
Count on Mick going for an opera 'Satisfaction', where once in, the doors are locked and you have to pay to exit.
But there are some (boomed boomers) who think Dylan is not just a guy with a guitar but that "profound and revealing meditator/interpretor of human nature" (that old fashioned word 'poet' used to cover it) needing a more serious forum. Even if that means a hop, skip and a jump or 2.
They deserve to see it.
Seeger, not just an entertainer (and an accomplished performer)[and decent human being] is passed over in this exercise of boomer self-redemption.
The next generation might notice.
Posted by: calmo at November 17, 2006 08:20 AM