Come fall, Broadway curtains will rise for the first time in roughly a year and a half. To celebrate the October 13th re-opening of Girl From the North Country, the musical based on the songs of Bob Dylan, a new video for one of its songs has dropped.
In the new clip, cast member Todd Almond, dressed in street clothes, sings a hale-and-hearty rendition of “Duquesne Whistle” in the Belasco Theatre, where the musical was performed. Filmed last November, the video finds Almond, who plays Elias Burke in the show, belting out the song and gazing, hopefully and longingly, out at the empty seats. Footage of cast members, who appear and then disappear midway through, was shot in early 2020, just before the Broadway lockdown.
Written and directed by Irish playwright Conor McPherson, Girl From the North Country is centered around a cast of eccentric characters in a boarding house in Duluth, Minnesota, in 1934. The show — which includes a slew of songs from Dylan’s back catalog, both hits and deep cuts — opened on Broadway on March 5th, 2020, but was forced to shut down a week after its premiere.
“Duquesne Whistle,” from Dylan’s Tempest album, is one of many songs he wrote with the late Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter. Asked about the song by RS in 2013, Hunter commented, “There’s almost no story on things like that. Dylan gave me that tune and said, ‘Can you write something to go with it?’ I wrote something to it and he took it. He’s the only guy I work with who I give the liberty to change things. After all, he is who he is. And something came out, a combination of what we do.”
In other jukebox-musical news, Tina, based on the life of Tina Turner, is scheduled to reopen October 8th, followed eight days later by Ain’t Too Proud, the Temptations musical. Jagged Little Pill, based on the Alanis Morissette album of the same name, is scheduled to return on October 21st. MJ, the delayed show about Michael Jackson, is set to begin previews in December before a February 2022 opening.