Staggering under the weight of so many bad reviews, Twlya Tharp’s Bob Dylan musical has closed its doors after just 28 Broadway performances. That nonconformist Dylan blogger, Sean Curnyn, presents some haunting photographic memories. He's convinced the critics got the show all wrong:
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.
…It’s easy to see why Dylan himself — who has spent decades now probing different angles of his own songs in live performances — would say, "It’s the best presentation of my songs I have ever seen or heard on any stage." It does so right by the songs that it is hard to believe that Dylan himself had no part in the basic concept — but that’s what we’re told. In that case, Twyla Tharp truly got startlingly close to the heart of Dylan’s body of work, to the thread that runs through it, and put it on the stage without the distractions that surround his recorded albums.
Ah well, if the show is dead and buried, there’s still life in the notion of Dylan as, er, a trailblazer for women’s fashion. Whatever next?