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Posts tagged ‘Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’


Stage Rush TV: Episode 29

Talking points:

Are you a fan (or a groupie?) of Jeremy Woodard and Andre Ward from Rock of Ages, Rushers? Did any of their backstage stories surprise you, like the cable TV story surprised me? Did you snap up one of the $19.31 tickets to The Scottsboro Boys? Have you seen Trust? Did you manage to rush it? Leave your thoughts and questions in the comments below, and don’t forget to watch Part 2 of Ensemble Watch: Rock of Ages early next week.

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Stage Rush TV: Episode 28

Talking points:

Did you snap up a discount ticket to Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’s fist preview, Rushers? Were you surprised and elated (like me) when the Public staff gave out free merchandise? How many Fringe shows have you caught? Did you see Pope or Jurassic Parq? Leave your questions and thoughts in the comments!


FringeNYC review: Pope: The Musical

The Vatican has never seemed cooler (or more suburban) than it does in Pope: The Musical, currently playing as part of the FringeNYC festival. In typical nudge-nudge off-off-Broadway musical fashion, this silly show features a nerdy American eighth grader who dreams of one day leading all of Catholicism, instead of a rock band. Of course in this show, the two occupations sort of look the same.

On the precipice of entering high school, Pope (yes, that’s his name) bashfully avoids the affection of his adoring female friend while his classmates swoon over summer and the opposite sex. Pope has his eye on his heavenly prize, and about five minutes into the show, he gets it. Yet his cheerful reign, in which he gives sermons comparing humanity to delicious treats like blueberry muffins, is interrupted when an evil archbishop (Scott Hart) plants a false story in the news that the squeaky-clean Pope has had a tawdry affair. His congregation excommunicates Pope, and he sets out on a guilt-ridden journey that gains him loyalists dedicated to helping him reclaim his holy throne.

In Pope, the international institution that is the Vatican is shrunk to the size of a suburban American town. The corrupt journalist who corroborates with the plotting archbishop is Pope’s schoolyard bully. The nun that helps him reclaim the papacy is his childhood sweetheart. This factor is what makes Pope quaint and cute. And also thin.

Tackling an institution like the Vatican in a tongue-in-cheek off-off-Broadway musical leaves room for an interwoven message through humor. I was expecting some commentary on any number of the issues that the Vatican has faced in recent years through the show’s absurd humor, much the way Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (soon opening in a Broadway transfer) did with American politics. Alas, Pope has nothing to say. Read more »


Stage Rush TV: Episode 22

Talking points:

Rushers, what did you think of Brian D’Arcy James as Dan in Next to Normal? Please tell me, since I didn’t see him. What did you think of this week’s Broadway in Bryant Park? Were you disappointed Montego Glover was absent, or were you thrilled to see Danielle Williamson? Are you getting your eyeliner out in anticipation of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson’s Broadway transfer in September? Leave all your excitement, woes, and thoughts in the comments!


Review: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Being that I was an AP History student in high school, I’m embarrassed to say this: going into Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, I couldn’t remember a thing about this particular president. It’s a good thing there’s nothing like a loud rock musical to pound the facts into your head.
Chronicling the childhood and political rise of Andrew Jackson, our country’s seventh president (I learned this from the show!), this creation of Alex Timbers (book writer and director) and Michael Friedman (music and lyrics) is a random, wild-child piece of genius. Billed as an “emo rock musical,” Andrew Jackson strips the characters of any dense, political verbiage and colonial form. Instead, a rock star ensemble screams a hilarious rock score of the president that is both adored for being a “people’s president” and loathed for genocidal acts against the Native Americans.
Timbers, Friedman, and the rest of the creative team have dedicated themselves to the show’s “look,” and it’s that commitment that makes Andrew Jackson such a standout piece. Upon entering the theater, the audience’s experience begins. Scenic designer Donyale Werle and lighting designer Justin Townsend have strung distressed gold and red chandeliers on the ceiling, extending over the audience to the back row. Single-color decorative string lights pass over the chandeliers, and long neon bulbs (a la Kevin Adams’ designs for Spring Awakening and Passing Strange) hang on the sidelines. I felt as if I had walked into a grungy New York rock hall. The stage bears the same rock-grunge motifs, as well as wilderness clutter, to reflect Jackson’s Tennessee upbringing. There are so many details to look at on the stage that it’s frustrating to realize you can’t catch them all. Read more »

Stage Rush TV: Episode 9

Whisper House‘s Holly Brook introduces!

Talking points:
What do you think, Rushers? Have you seen Andrew Jackson? Does it deserve to get an open-ended off-Broadway run? Did you pay for better seats to Anyone Can Whistle than I did? Do you think I’m right about the people who are buying tickets for American Idiot? Leave it in the comments!