'Girl From the North Country' Locks in Broadway Plans

Joan Marcus
Todd Almond and company in 'Girl From the North Country'

The alt-musical set in Depression-era Minnesota, written and directed by Conor McPherson with songs by Bob Dylan, moves uptown after a sold-out extended run at the Public Theater.

It's happening a full season later than initially expected, but Girl From the North Country, the critically adored Conor McPherson play set to the music of Bob Dylan, has finally confirmed plans for a Broadway move.

Set around a Thanksgiving during the Great Depression in a weathered boardinghouse in Dylan's hometown of Duluth, Minn., the evocative mood piece portrays the poor and disenfranchised of an America suspended in time as they weave in and out of one another's lives in encounters of beauty, sadness, yearning and hope.

Written and directed by Irish playwright McPherson — whose previous works The Weir, Shining City and The Seafarer all have been produced on Broadway to major acclaim and who was handpicked by Dylan's management to develop the project — the show premiered in summer 2017 at London's Old Vic before transferring to a successful West End run.  

Its New York premiere last October at the Public Theater was greeted with stellar reviews, sparking talk of an immediate Broadway transfer. But the unavailability of a suitably intimate theater presumably kept those plans on hold until now.

The production will begin performances Feb. 7 at the Belasco Theatre, ahead of a March 5 official opening. 

While casting has not yet been announced for Broadway, the show's excellent downtown ensemble included Mare Winningham, Stephen Bogardus, Robert Joy, Jeanette Bayardelle, Kimber Sprawl, Sydney James Harcourt, Luba Mason, Marc Kudisch, Todd Almond, David Pittu, Colton Ryan, Caitlin Houlahan and Tom Nelis. 

The alt-musical includes classic Dylan tracks like "Forever Young, "Hurricane," "Like a Rolling Stone," "Slow Train" and the title song, as well as deep cuts pulled from across his extensive output and rearranged in Simon Hale's orchestrations as rousing hymns, soul-stirring solos and roof-raising ensemble numbers.

In addition to Hale, the original creative team will reassemble for Broadway, including set and costume designer Rae Smith, lighting designer Mark Henderson, sound designer Simon Baker and movement director Lucy Hind. 

Producers on the Broadway run are Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Steven Lappin, Sony Music Entertainment/Sony ATV, David Mirvish, The Dodgers, Len Blavatnik, Sonia Friedman, Dianne Roberts, John Gore Organization, Nederlander Presentations, Independent Presenters Network, Rod Kaats, Mary Beth O'Connor, Patrick Catullo, The Old Vic and The Public Theater. Aaron Lustbader will serve as executive producer. 

A Canadian production of Girl From the North Country will open this fall, running Sept. 28-Nov. 24 at Toronto's Royal Alexandra Theatre.