Monday, December 6, 2010

Andrew Jackson as you have never seen him

Funny, frenetic; Sexy and stunning; Loud and lumpy.

Bloody, bloody Andrew Jackson is a wild ride on the stage. A populist interpretation of the life of Andrew Jackson in loud rock, absurdity, profanity, humor and one of the best ways I have seen history brought to life if you are not a fan. I went with teenagers for whom history is usually boring and something they have to sweat through in school but when it is packaged in tight black pants, a little cutting, slapstick humor and a rocking score they love it.

As the NY Times said in it's review Ideal President: A Rock Star just Like Me:

"...“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” created by Alex Timbers (book) and Michael Friedman (music and lyrics), feels unconditionally (and alarmingly) of the moment. The show’s theme song? An angry little number called “Populism Yea Yea,” in which the chorus roars, “And we’re gonna take this country back for people like us, who don’t just think about things.”

In tracing a restless young nation’s teenage crush on a down-home, rifle-toting maverick (played with omnisexual swagger by Benjamin Walker), this musical suggests that when it comes to selecting their leaders, Americans never outgrew adolescence. Though its style is often as skewed as a tilt-a-whirl ride, “Bloody Bloody” takes precision aim at its central target: an impatient electorate ruled by a hunger for instant gratification.

For some strange reason - well maybe it is a little too out there for the average Broadway attending European tourist - the show closes on January 2 so if you have not seen it yet take 90 minutes out of your business day, check your sensitivity to the gravitas of our former Presidents at the door, and go and see it.

And be very scared. Two words: Sarah Palin.

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