Theater/Music Review: Girl From the North Country continues at Bass Concert Hall in Austin

The Texas Performing Arts presents the Broadway in Austin series with Girl From the North Country through April 28, 2024, at Bass Concert Hall, 2350 Robert Dedman Drive, Austin, TX.

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.”

About: 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.

This musical premiered in London in 2017 and the following year in New York. I was piqued by the use of Bob Dylan’s songs in the play. I was unsure what to expect from the musical, but I enjoyed the theatrical project set in a boarding house after attending.

The struggling owner, Nick Laine, is married to Elizabeth, who has dementia. Still, she appears very in tune with her current surroundings, including Nick’s affair with a resident. They have an adult son, Gene, who is unemployed and an alcoholic. They have an adopted daughter since birth, Marianne (now an adult and pregnant), who does not involve the father. An elder, Mr. Perry, is trying to marry Marianne at Nick’s urging, and Marianne wants nothing to do with this arrangement. Boarders come in and out of the lodging, all having the human experience of the times (as described above) and yet trying to survive what seems to be the longest days of their lives.

I admire the transition from dramatic scenes to musical numbers by all the actors/vocalists. There is a periodic narration that keeps the story flowing, and all of the performers have excellent vocals.

On opening night, there were some understudies:

Paul Blankenship was on as Mr. Burke – typically played by David Benoit

Kelly McCormick was on as Elizabeth Laine – typically played by Jennifer Blood

Kyle Sherman was on as Elias Burke – typically played by Aidan Wharton

Rayla Garske covered Kelly McCormick’s ensemble track.

Danny Vaccaro covered Kyle Sherman’s ensemble track.

The weeknight show times are at 7:30 pm. Friday is at 8 pm, Saturday is at 2 & 8 pm and the final day, Sunday they are at 1:30 & 6:30 pm. [NOTE: new performance times for 2023-24 Season]

TICKETS: Start at $30. Tickets are available at and For more information about this and other upcoming events for this season of performances, visit

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