Preview: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

  • Photo by Tessa Berg
By
From the September 20, 2012 edition

Andrew Jackson was many things during his life: war hero, slave owner, populist, seventh U.S. President, husband and signer of the Indian Removal Act.

But emo rock star?

In “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” writer Alex Timbers has turned Jackson’s controversial life into a satire-filled, irreverent rock musical. Old Hickory’s in black eyeliner and tight jeans.

Staged by Available Light Theatre at a perfect moment given the upcoming election, “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” opens Thursday at the Riffe Center.

With writing that is positively democratic in its distribution of barbs, “Bloody Bloody” is a lot like the best rock ’n’ roll: “It’s right on the edge of falling apart,” said director Matt Slaybaugh.

His challenge is to keep the cast of 15 from falling off the cliff long enough to get the point across.

And what exactly is the point?

“Perhaps that there’s not that much difference in this day and age between politics and celebrity culture,” Slaybaugh said. “Politicians like Andrew Jackson are successful because they are politically savvy, but also because they know how to act like a rock star.”

Tickets are $25 online or, the Available Light tradition, pay-what-you-want at the door.

P.S. This history lesson is for adults only.