The Times They Are A-Changin

  • Date:
    October 1, 2006


    What the critics had to say.....

    BEN BRANTLEY of the NEW YORK TIMES says �And now for the latest heart-rending episode in Broadway�s own reality soap opera, �When Bad Shows Happen to Great Songwriters.� & "If the choreography at times defies gravity, the show itself may be the most earthbound work Ms. Tharp has produced. Even as the dancers seem to fly, Mr. Dylan�s lyrics are hammered, one by one, into the ground. "

    JOE DZIEMIANOWICZ of the NEW YORK DAILY NEWS says "A standard-issue jukebox show (he sings; she sings; they sing; repeat) set in a shabby circus dreamworld (who knows why?). Tharp's clown car runs out of gas an hour into the show's 90-minute length, which is strange, since Dylan is such a provocative and infinitely soulful songwriter." & "Everyone dreams about running away and joining the circus. It's too bad Tharp couldn't resist the urge."

    CLIVE BARNES of THE NEW YORK POST says "Yet after 90 surprisingly long minutes, the whole shebang....is a one-star concept with a two-star staging, three-star cast and four-star, if patchwork-quilted, score. The concept - downmarket pretentiousness gone cheap - finally sinks it."

    MICHAEL SOMMERS of Star-Ledger says "Viewers not inclined toward glum allegories regarding individual power and collective will are likely to be checking their watches long before the show's endless 90 minutes conclude." & "Don't be surprised if "The Times They Are A-Changin'" will be movin' out of the Atkinson fairly soon."

    LINDA WINER of NEWSDAY says "Tharp, a task-oriented perfectionist, has dreamed up extreme circus tricks, then transforms them from tricks to art. Even when she loses her way - which she definitely does - her failures are more interesting than most of theme-park Broadway."

    ELYSA GARDNER of USA TODAY says "It's tempting to say that the more of a purist you are about Bob Dylan's music, the less you'll like director/choreographer Twyla Tharp's The Times They Are A-Changin'. Tempting, but not quite accurate." & " I'd rather hear, or watch, Dylan covered with ambitious, if sometimes awkward, passion than with stiff, self-conscious reverence. Apparently, Tharp is of a similar mind."

    JACQUES LE SOURD of JOURNAL NEWS says "The music is literalized, flattened, turned into pre-digested Broadway mush. Dylan should be spinning in his grave, except he's not there yet. His fans will simply be outraged. The setting for this show is "sometime between awake and asleep." But you're likely to be too horrified by what's going on to go to sleep. Here is an instance of pandering to the baby boomers - who are presumed to be the bulk of the Broadway audience - that goes badly wrong."

    MICHAEL KUCHWARA of ASSOCIATED PRESS says "What is one to make of "The Times They Are A-Changin'," the murky musical misfire that combines the considerable talents of director-choreographer Twyla Tharp and pop superstar Bob Dylan. It's hard to tell what Tharp, who conceived the show, had in mind, judging from the confusing, surreal production."

    DAVID ROONEY of VARIETY says "Watching the unengaging mess onstage at the Brooks Atkinson, it's hard to imagine how it could have been helped. The impression is that Tharp's auteurial command prevented anyone from pointing out that the concept is just plain lame."

    External links to full reviews from newspapers

    New York Times
    New York Daily News
    New York Post
    Star-Ledger
    NewsDay
    USA Today
    Journal News
    Associated Press
    Variety