by Conor McPherson (Mirvish). This musical using the songs of Bob Dylan looks in on a tense community in 1934 Minnesota. Previews from Sep 28, opens Oct 6 and runs to Nov 24, Tue-Sat 8 pm, mat Sat-Sun 2 pm. $39-$175. mirvish.com
This is actually an anti-musical. It has no plot, no texture and, worse, Dylans songs have no connection to the weak characters who sing them. Set in the Depression at a boarding house in Duluth, Minnesota (Dylans birthplace), Girl parades out a series of characters, all in dire straits. They sing the songs, most of them among Dylans mopiest, with the same arrangements, except for Like A Rolling Stone and Duquesne Whistle, which have zero context, and Hurricane, which has great energy and makes you wish for more like it. The performers, including the glorious choral ensemble, are uniformly superb, especially Katie Brayben as a woman suffering from dementia and Gloria Obianyo as her pregnant adopted daughter. But Irish playwright McPherson has plainly read Of Mice And Men too many times. Im not sure even Dylan fans will like it.
NN (Susan G Cole)
Location - Royal Alexandra Theatre