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From the shores of Lake Superior to the lights of Broadway

The cast of "Girl From the North Country" perform a song from the musical.
The cast of "Girl From the North Country" perform a song from the musical.(Girl From the North Country)
Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 7:15 PM CDT
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NEW YORK CITY, NY (KBJR) -- Hitting the stage once again, the Broadway production of ‘Girl From the North Country,’ is set to reopen after being shut down by the pandemic.

The musical was open only one week before the COVID-19 pandemic forced all live theatre to close.

Set in 1935 Duluth, the musical features the music of iconic musician Bob Dylan, who was born in Duluth and raised in Hibbing.

“You do get a feeling for Duluth in 1932..1936 very much in the play,” said Rae Smith, the Tony and Olivier Award winning costume and scenic designer of the show. “The beating heart of it belongs to that city.”

The play follows a group of people residing at a guesthouse in Duluth during the Great Depression.

“You get a look into what life was like at that time for the different races and people,” cast member Matthew Frederick Harris said. “How heavy that burden was at that time in Duluth.”

The cast and creative team said Dylan’s music is central to the story.

“He’s such a great lyricist with deep profound meaning in everything he says and writes,” Harris said.

For cast member Chiara Trentalange, preparing for the show meant researching 1930s Duluth.

“You see these stellar photographs of this landscape and lake superior and these black and white photographs of these people who lived and worked,” Trentalange said. “It gives you a rush of imagination.”

Designer Rae Smith was struck by Northern Minnesota’s natural beauty throughout her design process.

“There’s one scene where the house opens out to a massive panorama of the lakes, and it’s so gorgeous,” Smith said. “It’s kind of like looking at heaven.”

The cast and creative team say that at its core, ‘Girl From the North Country’ is about humanity, hope, human connection, and how to press on even in the hardest of times.

“To all the Duluthians, it’s an honor and a privilege to get to portray you on stage,” Trentalange said.

The show first premiered in England in 2017, then had a run in Canada, before opening on Broadway.

This is the second musical to feature Bob Dylan’s music. The first was 2006′s “The Times They Are A Changin.”

For more information about the show and to purchase tickets, click here.

Correction: Video footage is courtesy of “Girl From the North Country,” not “Girl of the North Country.”

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