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SIGNONSANDIEGO.COM
Tharp's Dylan play set for Broadway

By Anne Marie Welsh
UNION-TRIBUNE THEATER CRITIC

July 11, 2006

Choreographer Twyla Tharp, who premiered and edited the show set to Bob Dylan songs at the Old Globe, announced yesterday that the revised musical will open previews Sept. 25 at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, with opening night set for Oct. 26.

Tharp, who won a choreography Tony for her hit show “Movin' Out” to the music of Billy Joel, conceived, directed and choreographed “Times,” which opened in February at the Globe and ran through two sold-out extensions.

In a statement released with the announcement, the famously reclusive Dylan said: “I have no taste for flattery whatsoever, but Twyla's artistry knocks me out. Her production of 'The Times They Are A-Changin' is the best presentation of my songs I have ever seen or heard on any stage. It had a hold over me from start to finish.”

Set in a run-down traveling circus where the tyrannical Captain Arab (Thom Sesma) struggles for power with his son Coyote (Michael Arden), the Broadway “Times” will feature two new major players: Caren Lyn Manuel replaces Jenn Colella as the animal trainer Cleo, and dance virtuoso John Selya, star of “Movin' Out,” joins the ensemble. Manuel's credits include various roles in “Rent,” the new musical “Brooklyn,” and tours of such dance-heavy shows as “Grease” and “Fame.”

The design team for “Times” remains the same as at the Globe, with one significant exception: The new sound designer for a show that was plagued by sonic troubles here is Peter Hylenski. He joins Santo Loquasto (scenic and costume), Donald Holder (lighting) and Henry Aronson (music direction). Orchestrations are by Dylan and Michael Dansicker, who also provided musical adaptation and supervision.

Of Dylan's more than 500 songs, 28 appeared in the Globe-sprung show, including “Blowin' in the Wind,” “The Times They Are A-Changin',” “Like a Rolling Stone” and “Knockin' on Heaven's Door.”

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