Girl From The North Country - Broadway Previews

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jacobsnchz14
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Previews begin tonight for the Broadway transfer of Girl from the North Country.  Anyone plan on being there this evening or sometime during the early preview period?

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Skip23
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This is why straight men hate Broadway.

Excruciating

SouthernCakes
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Is there anything exciting about this production? It all seems so somber.
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Jordan Catalano
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Buddy of mine saw it last night and said it was just awful. I’m really sad to hear it since I want any show with Kudisch to be amazing.
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Dancingthrulife2
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Any chance this is worth seeing for The Band's Visit lover?

InTheBathroom1
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Loved The Band’s Visit but hated this at the Public. So dreary and dark for absolutely no reason.
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Skip23
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The Band’s Visit was Hello Dolly! next to this inert bore. 

 

Tonight was amazingly stale  And can we do a moratorium on the word “f’#k” in every show  Sooo Gratuitous. 

 

 

Updated On: 2/7/20 at 10:43 PM
C4b2a3b
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Given its setting in Depression era Minnesota, the tone is definitely somber. And while the book may not be the strongest,  the "stars" are Dylan's songs and their new arrangements. Slow Train, Like a Rolling Stone, Hurricaine, and Duquesne Whistle were some of the numbers that were exciting numbers to break up the darker songs and ballads. Mare Winningham's Forever Young is so beautiful, touching, and haunting.

I agree it's more for fans of The Band's Visit. Unless something has drastically changed for the worse from the Public, I'm hoping that what I loved translates over to Broadway! 

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TheGingerBreadMan
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A friend of mine adored it at the Public. Interested to hear thoughts.
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BenElliott
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I remember thinking that the acting and staging could've been better at the Public.
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Skip23 said: "This is why straight men hate Broadway.

Excruciating


"Have you been pollng the straight men dharling?

 

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Skip23
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Yes I have.!

In fact, 3 in my aisle left at intermission.

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I was there tonight - it was my first exposure to the show/the songs. I'm pretty torn. Comparisons to The Bands Visit will be prominent, and rightly so. It is identical in almost every way to TBV in terms of structure, and hell, even narrative (Lost souls meeting at a guesthouse and discuss their turmoils.) I really didn't like The Bands Visit or understand why it was so lauded, but I will say I enjoyed this more. 

I found the show admirable in it's intentions, but at the end of the day, it's still a jukebox musical: 5-7 minute scenes, and then a character walks center stage and stands at a microphone singing a moody song that...kind of fits the narrative, if you suspend enough disbelief? That got old really fast - and that happens like 20 times.

I definitely cared about the characters much more here than TBV, and Mare Winningham is doing SENSATIONAL work. Act 2 is MUCH stronger than Act 1, although "Slow Train" is the highlight of the show and happens 15 minutes in. The lighting is so dark it definitely hinders the experience more than enhances, and the clipart they printed on the scrims are baaaaad. The choreography is also clunky and tired.

I love me a slow burn play, and dark moody musicals. But maybe slow burn dark moody musicals that want to be Very Important by saying Very Little are just not my style. I would much rather this win Best Musical than Moulin Rouge, but this is no where near Fun Home or Hadestown in terms of overall quality.

Also, Hadestown called, they'd like their encore back.

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Skip23 said: "Yes I have.!

In fact, 3 in my aisle left at intermission.


"

And you know they were straight because.....

Anyhoo, I loved the performance at the Public and am returning a second time during my NYC visit in April.  My straight married friends will join me.  Lettuce hear what they think, hokay?

LoveYouMeanIt.

Jakeevan942
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VotePeron said: "I was there tonight - it was my first exposure to the show/the songs. I'm pretty torn. Comparisons to The Bands Visit will be prominent, and rightly so. It is identical in almost every way to TBVin terms of structure, and hell, even narrative (Lost souls meeting at a guesthouse and discuss their turmoils.) I really didn't like The Bands Visit or understand why it was so lauded, but I will say I enjoyed this more.

I found the show admirable in it's intentions, but at the end of the day, it's still a jukebox musical: 5-7 minute scenes, and then a character walks center stage and stands at a microphone singing a moody song that...kind of fits the narrative,if you suspend enough disbelief?That got old really fast - and that happens like 20 times.

I definitely cared about the characters much more here than TBV, and Mare Winningham is doing SENSATIONAL work. Act 2 is MUCH stronger than Act 1, although "Slow Train" is the highlight of the show and happens 15 minutes in. The lighting is so dark it definitely hinders the experience more than enhances, and the clipart they printed on the scrims are baaaaad. The choreography is also clunky and tired.

I love me a slow burn play, and dark moody musicals. But maybe slow burn dark moody musicals that want to be Very Important by saying Very Little are just not my style. I would much rather this win Best Musical than Moulin Rouge, but this is no where near Fun Home or Hadestown in terms of overall quality.

Also, Hadestown called, they'd like their encore back.
"

I was also there tonight and this is just about exactly what I would have written-just can’t comment on awards as I haven’t seen Moulin Rogue yet. From my vantage point in the orchestra I did not notice the straights leaving at intermission, But rather the under 30s.  Reactions tonight may have been heightened as it seemed to me that nearly everyone in the room seemed to have money in this show.  I was in a lottery seat  orchestra left not marked partial view, But the orchestra which sits in the upstage right corner was blocked. If I were sitting on the other side significant bits of the action would’ve been blocked. I think this is one that would best be seen from the first 8 Rows Center. If it were not such a competitive year for featured actress I would give Mare Winningham the award today. And the encore is by far the most stunning piece of the show, unfortunate that it comes over 2 1/2 hours in

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Interesting about the encore, since there wasn't one at the Public, but they must have thought they needed one to send people out on a high note.

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Which, at that point, is way too late to save the tedious bore that happened two-and-a-half hours before that...
"When the audience comes in, it changes the temperature of what you've written." -Stephen Sondheim
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WayTooBroadway said: "Which, at that point, is way too late to save the tedious bore that happened two-and-a-half hours before that..."

HA!  Exactly. An ill conceived, aimless, “musical”.  Bob Dylan gets killed AGAIN in a Broadway musical. I didnt even know those were Dylan songs. 

 

And what the hell was Mare Winningham DOING?  A whirling dirvish on speed. Crazy bad. 

LightsOut90
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its insane that this transferred 

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This show was so good in London, but felt truly tedious and depressing in America. Not sure what happened, but I think a lot of blame can be put on the actors and the staging somehow felt smaller and more unfocused even though it was nearly identical in London. Their biggest mistake was not bringing the London cast over who gave beautiful, human performances. The entire Public cast needed to be replaced.
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Jakeevan942 said: "VotePeron said: "I was there tonight - it was my first exposure to the show/the songs. I'm pretty torn. Comparisons to The Bands Visit will be prominent, and rightly so. It is identical in almost every way to TBVin terms of structure, and hell, even narrative (Lost souls meeting at a guesthouse and discuss their turmoils.) I really didn't like The Bands Visit or understand why it was so lauded, but I will say I enjoyed this more.

I found the show admirable in it's intentions, but at the end of the day, it's still a jukebox musical: 5-7 minute scenes, and then a character walks center stage and stands at a microphone singing a moody song that...kind of fits the narrative,if you suspend enough disbelief?That got old really fast - and that happens like 20 times.

I definitely cared about the characters much more here than TBV, and Mare Winningham is doing SENSATIONAL work. Act 2 is MUCH stronger than Act 1, although "Slow Train" is the highlight of the show and happens 15 minutes in. The lighting is so dark it definitely hinders the experience more than enhances, and the clipart they printed on the scrims are baaaaad. The choreography is also clunky and tired.

I love me a slow burn play, and dark moody musicals. But maybe slow burn dark moody musicals that want to be Very Important by saying Very Little are just not my style. I would much rather this win Best Musical than Moulin Rouge, but this is no where near Fun Home or Hadestown in terms of overall quality.

Also, Hadestown called, they'd like their encore back.
"

I was also there tonight and this is just about exactly what I would have written-just can’t comment on awards as I haven’t seen Moulin Rogue yet. From my vantage point in the orchestra I did not notice the straightsleaving at intermission, But rather theunder 30s. Reactions tonight may have been heightened as it seemedto me thatnearly everyone in the roomseemed to have money in this show. I was in a lottery seatorchestra left not marked partial view, But the orchestra which sitsin the upstage right corner was blocked. If I were sitting on the other side significant bits of the action would’ve been blocked. I think this is one that would best be seen from the first 8 Rows Center. If it were not such a competitive year for featured actress I would give MareWinningham the award today. And the encore is by far the most stunning piece of the show, unfortunate that it comes over 2 1/2 hours in
"

Completely agree  with both of the above statements, and could not say it better.  I wonder if age has anything to do with reception of this musical?  As the "younger" crowd around me were not enjoying themselves, while the 37 (my age) and older appeared to really enjoy themselves.  Maybe the 20-early 30s crowd are too removed from the depression-era or maybe they are used to more polished, focused musicals.  I appreciated the "boring", or "clunky" parts as it became part of the setting for me.  Life was boring, I was transported for many of the scenes.  One of my favorite parts of the set, was the lighting that framed the stage.  the lighting stayed off for most of the show, as I suppose it was to represent hope?  I found myself waiting for it to come back, as I loved the coloring/mood.  Anyway, not perfect, but I was invested in the characters and loved the music.

C4b2a3b
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What's the encore? A mashup of songs? 

KingOfTheMine
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I have followed these boards for several years, and I thought I’d create an account to share my opinion after last night’s first preview.  I was anticipating this piece to be in great shape after running in the West End, at the Public, and in Toronto. Sadly, that’s not what I saw on stage.  It really seemed like there was a disconnect between the book scenes and songs. I knew going in that many had described North Country as a “play with music,” but the songs didn’t really fit into the narrative.  They just hit you over the head with the same emotional themes again and again. We get it. It’s the Great Depression. You’re still moody and sad. Since there isn’t much emotional variation in the songs or narrative, it was hard to get invested.  Apart from a few musical moments that were great, I was bored for most of the evening.  I was also disappointed dramatically because there were several instances where Conor McPherson set up some potentially interesting conflict only to have it go nowhere.

The pacing also felt a bit awkward.  If you’re not going to let the audience clap after the songs, be consistent with it.  There were a couple instances where the actors didn’t start into the scenes soon enough after the songs ended.  This resulted in a tepid applause from the audience as if we didn’t know if we were supposed to clap or not. I imagine this will be improved over the preview period.

I do have to mention that there are some stunning performances going on at the Belasco.  For me, Austin Scott was the standout of the evening. He showed real emotional vulnerability and sang the hell out of these Bob Dylan songs.  Marc Kudisch was also very good, but definitely underused. Only when we get to the very end of the piece do we get to hear Jeannette Bayardelle show off what she can do vocally as the soloist during the encore.  That number was one of the best parts of the entire evening, and the applause was noticeably more enthusiastic after that number than it had been during the actual curtain call.

For those comparing this piece to The Band’s Visit, I don’t really see that comparison.  Apart from the more quiet and subdued tone, they are very different musicals. TBV is much more of a traditional book musical with songs that advance the plot.  I enjoyed TBV vastly more than North Country and actually cared about the characters in that show.

Since it was the first preview, I received a Girl from the North Country pin upon entering the theatre.  However, I’m not sure if these were distributed to everyone since I didn’t see many people wearing them. The performance started at about 8:05, and I was on the street by 10:35.  I didn’t notice anyone around me that left during intermission, but the comments I heard while exiting were mainly negative. This one was a let down.

whatever2
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> I wonder if age has anything to do with reception of this musical?  As the "younger" crowd around me were not enjoying themselves, while the 37 (my age) and older appeared to really enjoy themselves.  Maybe the 20-early 30s crowd are too removed from the depression-era or maybe they are used to more polished, focused musicals. 

58 here and thought it was a real snooze-fest at the Public.

"You, sir, are a moron." (PlayItAgain)
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So unbelievably boring.  I can't believe this transferred.  Don't understand the appeal.