By Adam Hetrick
02 Jan 2011
|Photo by Joan Marcus|
The 90-minute musical, equal parts sketch comedy, underground rock concert and a revisionist history lesson, has book and direction by Alex Timbers of Les Freres Corbusier and music and lyrics by The Civilians' Michael Friedman. Bloody Bloody began previews Sept. 20 and officially opened Oct. 13.
Although Andrew Jackson enjoyed high poll numbers (critical raves), the Broadway run lasted only 120 performances. The Broadway engagement was initially scheduled through Jan. 9; however, a new block of tickets had been released through April 2011.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson's Broadway life began after a 2008 world premiere at the Center Theatre Group and a run at the Public Theater last spring, where it was extended three times. It received an Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway Musical and a Drama Desk Award for Best Book of a Musical. Bloody Bloody earned a place as the second highest-grossing production in Public Theater history. The record holder is the Tony Award-nominated musical Caroline, or Change.
Timbers told Playbill, "One of the things I think is pretty exciting about this show is, for me, a lot of the comedy in theatre doesn't dialogue with the comedy that's happening in popular culture, and I feel like this has more of a relationship to the kind of stuff that's happening at Upright Citizens Brigade or in a Will Ferrell movie."
The writers also play fast and loose with history as they track Jackson's journey from Tennessee hellion to the Commander in Chief. "The meta-narrative is how Andrew Jackson rewrote the history of America as he was going," Friedman added. "That's one of the weird things about taking control of a country; you get to rewrite narrative entirely."
Scenic designer Donyale Werle transformed the entirety of the Jacobs Theatre into a heady mix of taxidermy, American memorabilia and dazzling lighting by Justin Townsend.
The cast also features Maria Elena Ramirez as Rachel, Jeff Hiller as John Adams, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe as Van Buren, Ben Steinfeld as Monroe, Greg Hildreth as Red Eagle, Darren Goldstein as Calhoun, Bryce Pinkham as Clay, Kate Cullen Roberts as Elizabeth, Kristine Nielson as the Storyteller, Cameron Ocasio as Lyncoya, Nadia Quinn, Emily Young as the Female Soloist and James Barry as the Male Soloist. Much of the Broadway cast originated their roles Off-Broadway and in the Center Theatre Group production.
The production has scenic design by Donyale Werle, costume design by Emily Rebholz, lighting design by Justin Townsend and sound design by Bart Fasbender. Choreography is by Danny Mefford.
The Public Theater has teamed with Hair producers Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel, alongside producers Norton Herrick & Herrick Entertainment, Stewart F. Lane & Bonnie Comley, Susan Gallin/Mary Lu Roffe/Jennifer Manocherian, Universal Pictures Stage Productions, Nancy C. Paduano/Harold Thau and Toula C. Phillips for the Broadway run.
Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records recorded the cast album of the musical, which can be ordered here.
For tickets visit Telecharge.com or phone (212) 239-6200. The Bernard B. Jacobs Theatre is located at 242 West 45th Street.
Highlights from Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson: