Thursday, January 6, 2011

"Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson"

All right, the promised third in my series, and yet another show that has already closed. But I really loved it, so I have to give my feedback anyway. Maybe one day it will tour.
Without a doubt, this show deserves all the accolades it received. This cast, led by Benjamin Walker in the lead role, worked wonderfully as an ensemble to tell the story of Andrew Jackson's life from his upbringing to his role as President of the United States of America, and all the bloodshed and genocidal tendencies that he held throughout his life. Cleverly stating an opinion without throwing it in the face of the audience, Alex Timbers' writing and direction - along with Walker's portrayal - created a man struggling through life and with what he held to be right.Michael Friedman's music and lyrics were catchy and toe-tapping, bringing palpable righteousness to life with a full-blooded rock sound. I will surely be purchasing this show's soundtrack.
The simple entrance into the theater was enough to take your breath away, Donyale Werle's set design extending all the way through the theater. Strings of red lights, antlers and animal carcasses hanging from the rafters provided the frontier ambiance familiar to our lead character, while Justin Townsend's lighting - from before the show began and continuing throughout - colored the bloodthirsty view of one Andrew Jackson. Emily Rebholz's costume design furthered the ferocity with which this show brought sexuality to the world of politics, using a sort of frontier-chic in leather, short skirts and tight bodices to draw out not only physicality but also the determined youth of this angst.
Yes, I'm wholly sorry that this show has already closed, because I assure you it was a tremendous night of theater. The musicians/actors who made up this cast truly took my breath away and I left humming tunes I presumably never would have heard otherwise. May musical theater continue to be created in so refreshing a way for a long time to come.

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