President Jackson is coming and he's wearing some tight, tight pants. The emo-rock musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson arrives in Seattle September 19 at ArtsWest Playhouse. Our history books may never recover.
The musical, written by Michael Friedman and Alex Timbers, blew through Los Angeles and New York's theater ranks in 2008 to 2010. First wildly popular Off-Broadway, it then fizzled on Broadway itself (despite the fact that some of us attended, er, multiple times.) The country's Tennessee president is reimagined as an emo rock star, all crotch-first swagger, petulance, and eyeliner. It's funny, but it's not a big stretch—the real "Old Hickory" was indeed a self-cutter, as the show renders in hilarious, blood-gushing splendor.
The songs are a catchy mix of parody and immaturity; you may leave singing "And James Monroe was a douchebag!" But the whip-smart portrayals of Jackson's outsider mentality and relationship with the Native Americans he killed, banished, befriended, and adopted—talk about bloody—make the show more than a toe-tapping Saturday Night Live skit.
Bloody Bloody runs Wednesday through Sunday, with a special free discussion with cast and director on Monday, September 24. Tickets are $35.50, but only $17 for those under 25. Besides prepping for the punk-rock president, the West Seattle theater is also celebrating its 2012 National Theatre Company grant, a $10,000 award from the American Theatre Wing, otherwise known as the people who hand out Tony Awards.
Warning: This is not wholesome fun for the family. "It's definitely a blue-colored show," says director Christopher Zinovitch. "There are multiple uses of the F-word, and references to, well, both male and female anatomy." He recommends it for those 16 or older, and you'll need to check your historical fact-checker at the door. But hey, maybe James Monroe was a douchebag.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
Sept 19–Oct 20, ArtsWest, $17–$36