Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Andrew Jackson: Army General, Governor of Florida, U.S. President, and… rock star… hmmmmm. Well, stranger things have happened in modern pop culture. And if Abraham Lincoln can now be a vampire hunter in literature and on screen, why can’t Andrew Jackson be a rock star on stage? Hold on to your hats, as the Beck Center for the Arts presents Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is a little history lesson on our seventh president. But this ain’t like any history lesson that you done learned in school. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is a comedic and high-energy Wild West rock musical. The Studio Theater has been transformed into a western saloon where Dan Folino, in the title role, heads a cast of fifteen actors who bring Jackson’s story to life with a great joie de vivre.
The show follows Andrew Jackson’s life from his boyhood in the hills of Tennessee to his very last days. And some other famous Americans, even a few Indians, come along for the ride. It explores the themes of populism, the Indian Removal Act, the birth of the Democratic Party, and Jackson’s relationships with his wife, the Native Americans, and other political figures of the day. And in true Broadway style, much of this is achieved in song.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson originally ran off-Broadway, but the show later enjoyed a brief 2010 Broadway run for which it received positive reviews. The show is a very modern and unconventional Broadway show, very different from a classic musical, but just as thoroughly enjoyable. For me, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is somewhat reminiscent of the musical Lizzie Borden in that it takes somewhat questionable material for a musical and gives it flight with a pulsating rock score. The two blend beautifully in giving us one of the most creative Broadway shows of the 21st Century. And you will never think of Andrew Jackson in the same way again.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson proves that, on Broadway, anything is possible. It provides for a fun and exciting night at the theatre, and it comes very highly recommended. Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is a rollicking good time!
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson will continue through July 1 in the Studio Theater. And then stay tuned for Legally Blonde: The Musical (July 6 – August 12) closing the 2011-2012 Season on the Mackey Main Stage.
The Beck Center for the Arts is located at 17801 Detroit Avenue in Lakewood, Ohio. Convenient, free on-site parking is available. For more information on the Beck Center, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, Legally Blonde, or the new 2012-2013 Season please visit the Beck Center’s website at www.BeckCenter.org.
– Christopher S. Musselman