A Girl From the North Country Tour Heads to Houston

Written by on May 7, 2024

On Tuesday, April 30, the Hobby Center put on the Tony Award-winning new musical, A Girl From the North Country. Featuring a unique take Bob Dylan‘s discography, this musical tells the story of wayward travelers whose lives intersect in a guest house filled with music, life, and hope.

Jay Russell and Sharaé Moultrie in the GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY North American tour; photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Set in 1934 in Duluth, Minnesota (Bob Dylan’s birthplace) during the Great Depression. We meet Nick Liane, his wife Elizabeth who was diagnosed with dementia, their alcoholic son Gene, and their adopted daughter Marianne, who is pregnant and unmarried. Struggling with a failing hotel, illness, and other life problems, the Laine family also has plenty of friends and acquaintances to keep them on their toes. Combined with the musical catalogue of Bob Dylan, this musical was full of unique characters, plot twists and astounding vocals.

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

There were a lot of good laughs throughout the night, particularly from Elizabeth Laine’s commentary (portrayed by Jennifer Blood) and a beautiful monologue from Mr. Burke (portrayed by David Benoit). With so many unique characters and plot lines, it’s a wonder how the audience didn’t get lost along the way but maybe that was the intention. The chaos created between so many connected storylines depicts of what real life actually is like; one life may intersect with another’s but no one really knows what is behind the facade of everyday life.

Jennifer Blood in the GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY North American tour; photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

Despite the plot being a head scratcher, the cast was spectacular and overflowing with talent. The band was incorporated into the set of the stage, giving it a nice countryside feeling. While song was done flawlessly, the best performance came from Jennifer Blood with the song “Like a Rolling Stone.” While a little deranged, Blood really captivated the audience and excited for act two. Wharton also dazzled the crowd and completely blew us away with his performance of “Duquesne Whistle.”

Chiara Trentalange (center) and the cast of the GIRL FROM THE NORTH COUNTRY North American tour; photo by Evan Zimmerman for MurphyMade

The show ends with “Pressing On,” a reflection of the characters “pressing on” through life despite their hardships. Although there is an unfinished feeling at the end, it mirrors the open endedness of life, allowing the audience to draw their own conclusions. If you missed the Houston showing, there are plenty more on the Girl From the North Country tour. Get your tickets here and check out the rest of Coog Radio’s Hobby Center coverage!

  • Alina Velasquez

    I'm a Junior Graphic Design major at the University of Houston. I am also the Graphic Design Officer of BAMSA as well as a Photo Editor for Coog Radio. I enjoy art in all of its forms and love discovering new music. Photography and Design have been passions of mine for several years.

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