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Posted at 10:43 AM ET, 11/10/2006

Bob's Broadway Bomb

By Jen Chaney

This photo from "The Times They Are A-Changin'" screams Bob Dylan, doesn't it? (Craig Schwartz/AP)

Apparently Bob Dylan should stick to making music, starring in iPod commercials and writing weird screenplays. This week, word came that the Broadway musical "The Times They Are A-Changin'," conceived by "Movin' Out's" Twyla Tharp and based on Dylan's music, will close after just 28 performances. Your last chance to see this show about a traveling circus whose members dance to "Mr. Tambourine Man" and "Like a Rolling Stone" -- what, you honestly think I could make this up? -- is Nov. 19.

The mere idea of using Dylan classics in a feel-good, lavish musical no doubt sends shudders up and down the spines of the great songwriter's fans, who still believe the answer is blowing in the wind, not in Broadway box office receipts. Personally, I think they would have been better off developing a show based on those Victoria's Secret/Bob Dylan commercials from a few years back. Sure, it would have been sexist and offensive to watch two hours of supermodels parading around in "Body by Victoria" bras to the tune of "Subterranean Homesick Blues," but you know people would have paid to see that.

Of course, "The Times" is hardly the only preposterous concept to become a Broadway musical. I also suggest that the upcoming stage adaptation of "High Fidelity," based on Nick Hornby's novel and the John Cusack comedy, sounds like a train wreck waiting to happen. In fact, it seems like almost anything has the potential to get Broadway-ized these days. With that in mind, I've comprised this brief list of musicals that very well could capture the hearts of theater-goers everywhere. Should you be a producer who actually wants to implement one of these ideas, well, you know where to find me.

--"Because I Got High": Twyla Tharp also could choreograph this wrenching look at drug addiction, based on the music of Afroman. Unfortunately, since Afroman only had one hit, the entire score will consist of "Because I Got HIgh" and several reprises of "Because I Got High," which might be a problem since that song gets annoying after about 20 seconds.

--"Hello, Dolly ... and Barfy": Admit it -- you enjoy the gentle humor of "The Family Circus." Now you can appreciate the antics of Dolly, Billy, P.J., Jeffy and beloved family dog Barfy in musical-form. Expect to be moved during the climactic closing number, where Billy wanders through the neighborhood, creating an aimless dotted line while the full company sings, "You'll Never Walk Alone."

--"High School Musical: The Musical": Oh wait. They're kind of already doing this.

--"Jock Jams: A Musical Revue": It's like going to a 1990s-era frat party, but without the booze. Cheer on the choreographed recreations of various legendary college sports match-ups, all set to such "timeless" tunes as "Whoomp! There It Is" and "Tootsee Roll."

What's the most egregious Broadway musical adaptation you've ever seen, either real or imaginary? Post a comment and let your outrage sing.

-- Jen Chaney

By Jen Chaney  | November 10, 2006; 10:43 AM ET
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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