BWW Reviews: BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON Romps Through American History


Andrew Jackson was angry. Spitting angry. And thanks to composer and lyricist Michael Friedman we have a rock musical to memorialize the good, the bad and the ugly. 

BLOODY BLOODY Andrew Jackson, which embarks on a Wild West romp through our country's sordid past, makes its regional premiere at Theatre Three, now through July 7.

At the center of this show stands a man who grew up on a frontier America did not own and as he would a maiden playing hard to get, by golly Jackson's going to conquer. He wants to strip land from the English, French, Spanish and most of all… the Injuns. But when he meets the Washington elite, he wants to invade the White House too.

This musical skewers many of the ideals America was founded upon and hyper-sexualizes everyone, from Jackson to the Founding Fathers, who stroll onto the stage like a team of strippers at a club.

Theatre Three and director Bruce Coleman have crafted a musical that somehow balances sexy and repulsive, which may be the ideal BLOODY BLOODY. But Cameron Cobb as Andrew Jackson does the heavy-lifting in this show. 

Cobb's black-fingered, wickedly funny Jackson foments his followers to a feverish mayhem. They know he's bad for the country, but he's oh so good at singing them into a dither.

And Cobb's breakneck pace sets a gold standard for the rest of the cast. Many of the performers deliver top-notch renderings of everyone from Rachel Jackson (a delightful Arianna Movassagh), whom Andrew bigamously married, to Martin Van Buren (Michael McCray) the effeminate Secretary of State and then Vice-President to Jackson.

The show's only failure lies in the often-mundane choreography and the finicky microphones that leave nearly half of Friedman's clever lyrics unheard. But as the microphones exist to temper the louder-than-ever band that brings an undeniable energy to the show, we'll take the bad with the good (and the ugly).  I just wish they'd drop the mics for the acoustic, breathtaking tune "Second Nature." 

All-in-all BLOODY BLOODY Andrew Jackson throws a boisterous party of a show with a poignant reminder of America's imperfection and a cast teeming with Theatre Three regulars (Gregory Lush, Max Swarner) and delightful debuts from Cory Kosel and Dorcas Leung.

BLOODY BLOODY Andrew Jackson runs through July 7. Tickets can be purchased online, by phone 214-871-3300 or at the box office. 


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