Girl from the North Country – Musical – Review – Paramount Theatre

@showsiveseen @Girl From the North Country jukebox #musical featuring Bob Dylan's eclectic songs at @Seattle Theatre Group's Paramount Theatre. Reminiscent of Portlandia hipsters. Tight harmonies & great solo voices. Good second act climax. Performing till 6/30. Review: #BobDylan #showsiveseen #theatre ♬ Duquesne Whistle / Señor (Tales of Yankee Power) / Is Your Love In Vain? / License to Kill (Reprise) – Girl from the North Country Ensemble & Luba Mason & Todd Almond & Caitlin Houlahan & Marc Kudisch & Colton Ryan

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Girl from the North Country jukebox musical featuring Bob Dylan’s eclectic songs. Reminiscent of Portlandia hipsters. Tight harmonies & great solo voices. Performing till 6/30.

See it if you’re familiar with Bob Dylan’s music.

Synopsis from the Licensor or Theatre Company: Girl From The North Country is the Tony Award®-winning new musical that the Chicago Tribune declares is “a Broadway revelation!” Written and directed by celebrated playwright Conor McPherson and featuring Tony Award-winning orchestrations by Simon Hale, Girl From The North Country reimagines 20 legendary songs of Bob Dylan as they’ve never been heard before, including “Forever Young,” “All Along The Watchtower,” “Hurricane,” “Slow Train Coming,” and “Like A Rolling Stone”. It’s 1934 in Duluth, Minnesota. We meet a group of wayward travelers whose lives intersect in a guesthouse filled with music, life and hope. Experience this ‘profoundly beautiful’ production (The New York Times) brought to vivid life by an extraordinary company of actors and musicians.

My Synopsis (No Spoilers): This musical is about a group of people in the Midwest during the Great Depression. Their lives already suck and are at the precipice of implosion. Will they survive?

Attended Performance Date: Opening Night 6/26/24 – If you want to see this show, buy your tickets now since it leaves Seattle after 6/30.

Type: Jukebox Musical – But it strangely exuded the energy of a play more than a musical.

World Premiere: No

Several or Few Scenes: Several

Several or Few Settings/Locations: Several rooms in a guesthouse

Static (Stationary) Set? Mostly no

Prior Exposure/Knowledge Required: You should be familiar with Bob Dylan’s songs or his style to enjoy this musical. I’m not familiar with his music and I didn’t recognize any songs except one. Personally, I don’t see what’s so great about his music and why others consider him a musical legend. The emperor is naked. Blasphemy, I know.

Defined Plot/Storyline: Yes

Live Band/Orchestra: Yes, and occasionally the actors would play instruments like the drums as well.

Equity Actors: All

Total Number of Actors: 17

Perceived Pace of the Show: Slow

Was there an intermission? Yes

Length (Including Any Intermission): 2.5 hours

Was This the First Time I Attended a Production of this Show? Yes

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now? No

Mainstream Appeal: Low

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned Above

  • Drummer: It was refreshing to see a dolled up glamourous lady (Jill Van Velzer who also played Mrs. Burke) as a drummer, which contrasted from societal expectations. It reminded me of when Jen Leigh played the guitar in MJ: The Musical. Girl power!
  • Second Act Tragedy (No Spoiler): The shocking climax of the second act was well-devised. It slowly unfolded with dread and tragedy, leading up to Elias Burke’s (played by Kyle Sherman) bright glorious rendition of “Duquesne Whistle” with a lively black-like gospel choir. I was longing for scenes like this during the majority of the sleepy, visually-dark musical.
  • Voices: While I’m no fan of Bob Dylan’s music, I must admit that the actors sang in tight harmonies and good solo. Sharaé Moultrie (as Marianne Laine) effortlessly showcased her voice throughout the musical. I was also a huge fan of the retro girl-group harmonies.


  • Scenic Design: It was way too simple for a national profit-generating tour from Broadway. Parts of the set looked simple enough for community theatre.
  • Lighting: It was way too dark. I recognize that the designers wanted a specific motif, but what’s the point of the motif if the audience can’t see actors well? I was sitting within the first 10 rows. So, I pity the audience members in the balcony. They probably saw nothing.
  • Story: The story and dialogue were difficult to follow and sometimes mildly bizarre.
  • Audience Reaction: An alarming mass exodus left at intermission. It was the largest mid-show exit I’ve ever seen at the Paramount Theatre. I eavesdropped on the leaving patrons, and they said, “This show is a bit of a snoozer.” and “It didn’t make any sense. I don’t know what I was watching.” Sadly, I agree with their negative sentiments. I hypothesize that the Bob Dylan association was the only thing keeping this show in production. I only feel sorry for the performers who were obviously talented but didn’t receive the full patronage and recognition they deserved. Unfortunately, they were tragic casualties of many wrong things with this production, book, and music. But on the bright side, there was no bathroom line. Plus, the people sitting in front of me left at intermission. So, I saw the stage better in the second act. However, I’m afraid they missed out a little since the second act was better than the first act.

Other Musing(s) and Observation(s)

  • Energy/Style: Throughout this musical, I kept thinking about plain white bread, rural cults (like in the Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt TV show), folksy-ness, Portlandia hipster posers, and country.
  • Music: While I wasn’t a fan of Bob Dylan’s music, I appreciated the eclectic nature of his style since it was difficult to pinpoint his genre. It was a mix of soul, americana, folk, gospel and country. It reminded me of Norah Jones’ music from her later years. But while I love Norah Jones (she’s one of my top 3 favorite artists), her music is sleepy, just like the music in this show. Thus, no one should turn her music into a musical. Girl from North the County desperately needed more contrast of energetic songs like “Duquesne Whistle.”
  • Selling Out: As a pragmatic person, I was rooting for Marianne and Gene Laine (played by Ben Biggers) to sell out. Gurrrl, get that bag!

Theatre Company: National Tour Sponsored by Broadway Across America and Seattle Theatre Group

Venue: Paramount Theatre

Venue Physical Address: 911 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101

Price: $8 to $125 + Ticketmaster Fees


Ticket Affordability Options: Seattle Theatre Group might partner with an organization you’re affiliated with for discount tickets. For example, I believe UW employees/students are eligible for an organization discount.

Dates: June 25 to June 30, 2024

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: Paid street parking and paid garage parking. The best parking garage is under the convention center w/ the entrance on Pike around the Pike and Terry intersection. Last I checked, this is one of the cheapest, least busy, and closest garages. Alternatively, you can probably find street parking as you move closer to the West Precinct (810 Virginia St, Seattle, WA 98101). Do NOT park where the Paramount subscribers park. Last I checked, they usually park in the garage attached to the Cheesecake Factory. It’ll take you at least 30 minutes to exit that garage after the show.

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Pictures: See pictures below by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

The cast of the GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY North American tour. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.
L-R Ben Biggers, Sharaé Moultrie, Jennifer Blood and John Schiappa in the GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY North American Tour. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.
Jay Russell and Sharaé Moultrie in the GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY North American tour. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.
Chiara Trentalange and Ben Biggers in the GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY North American Tour. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.
Chiara Trentalange (center) and the cast of the GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY North American tour. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.
Aidan Wharton and the cast of the GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY North American Tour. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.
(L-R) Aidan Wharton, David Benoit, Jennifer Blood and Jeremy Webb in the GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY North American tour. Photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade.

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