Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson Will Rock Broadway's Jacobs Theatre; Benjamin Walker to Star

By Adam Hetrick
July 15, 2010

Broadway will have a new bad boy this fall. The emo-rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which played an extended run at the Public Theater this spring, will begin performances Sept. 21 at the Bernard Jacobs Theatre.

Producers Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel, who aligned with the Public on the Broadway transfer of the Tony Award-winning revival of Hair, are also behind Bloody Bloody, which takes an irreverent look at the life of seventh U.S. President Andrew Jackson and his rocky legacy. The Public, Richards and Frankel are all lead producers for the Broadway run.

An official Broadway opening and on-sale ticket date have not been announced.

Bloody Bloody was extended three times during its Public run and also 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.

Benjamin Walker, who embodied Jackson as an electrifying rock star in the world premiere of the musical at Center Theatre Group in 2008 and Off-Broadway at the Public, will re-create his performance for Broadway. Additional casting will be announced shortly.

Alex Timbers, who directed the Off-Broadway run (and is set for the Broadway bow), authored the book to Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, which features music and lyrics by the Civilians' Michael Friedman.

The raucous rock musical features a company of hipsters carousing about a set that could be a Williamsburg, Brooklyn bar. Bloody Bloody re-imagines Jackson's life and legacy through irreverent emo-rock tunes and a solid dose of rock star flair.

The Off-Broadway creative team will reprise their duties for the Broadway transfer. 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.

Sh-K-Boom/Ghostlight Records recorded the cast album of the musical, which will be released this fall.

"Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson just can't be stopped. The voracious audience demand for this extraordinary show is forcing us to kick it up a notch and take it to Broadway," Public Theater artistic director Oskar Eustis said in a statement. "Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman have created an extraordinary event--a rocking, hilarious, sparkling entertainment that is also one of the smartest critiques of America ever seen on a stage. This is what The Public Theater is all about—and I couldn't be prouder of all the artists involved."

Producers describe the musical as "an audacious mix of historical fact and invention, [that] uses the story of America’s controversial seventh president—the man who invented the Democratic Party, doubled the size of our nation and signed the Indian Removal Acts that started the Trail of Tears — to investigate the attraction and terrors of American populism, using a raucous blend of outrageous comedy, anarchic theatricality and infectious emo rock."