Meryl Streep Plays Discreet Mother-in-Law-To-Be

PlayBlog   Meryl Streep Plays Discreet Mother-in-Law-To-Be
Never one to let her celebrity pull focus from those who deserve it, Meryl Streep slipped quietly into The Public's Newman Theatre at the last possible moment April 6 to check out the title performance of her prospective son-in-law in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, a revisionist pop-rock view of our seventh president.

And, while it's safe to assume that Charlton Heston and Lionel Barrymore (both of whom played Old Hickory twice on the screen) are spinning like dervishes in their respective graves, one can just imagine Streep backstage kvelling about having rock-star charisma on her doorstep. Whatever her assessment, Benjamin Walker wasn't telling at the opening-night party held at the Union Square Ballroom.

"If I know what's good for me, I shouldn't tell," the actor laughed back, displaying far more tact and diplomacy than he did on stage as President Jackson — but he was smiling big as you please. So, too, was his intended, Mamie Gummer, who was hanging happily with Claire Danes, her best friend from the 2007 flick, "Evening."

This negative reevaluation of Jackson's presidency, particularly with regard to his decimation of Native Americans, knocks Old Hickory off his horse and pedestal in the style of an emo musical which is marked by much teen angst and flailing about.

"A demented romper room" is how The Public's Oskar Eustis characterized the stage, meaning it in the nicest possible way and praising "the extraordinary cast" and creators, director-playwright Alex Timbers and tunesmith Michael Friedman.

— Harry Haun

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