Oct

28

Forget What Your APUSH Teacher Taught You: CMTS Presents Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

Written by

bloody bloody andrew jackson

Last weekend, CMTS  performed Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Historical hottie fan Alina Sodano, BC’17, watched the bloodbath. 

Lock up your prepubescent children because Andrew Jackson is coming to town! Or rather, he came to town last weekend for CMTS’s production of Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, the not-so-orthodox rock musical that explores the complicated legacy of President Andrew Jackson (probably not appropriate for children under 12). In just six weeks, director Emily Feinstein brought this show to life with interactive staging, attention to detail, a sound artistic vision and, of course, a stellar cast and production team who kept the audience laughing.

The show began by breaking the fourth wall. The cast stared at the audience, which surrounded them on three sides in an arena style set-up. Sam Mickel, CC’14, who played Andrew Jackson, began by first asking the cast, then the audience: “Are you ready?” The 2:00 matinée crowd gave a half-assed yes, because to be honest, they were missing their afternoon naps. However, the cast didn’t let that phase them. In the opening number “Populism, Yea Yea” the powerful ensemble looked like they were having the time of their lives, exerting the pent-up anger of 19th century American citizens. The audience wanted to dance alongside them. The guys looked fantastic in tight black skinny jeans, and the ladies rocked crop tops. The cast was totally in-sync during dances and as a whole, displayed amazing vocal skills in the big group numbers. Chill-provoking harmonies and haunting melodies ran throughout the musical.

Mickel carried the show, not necessarily with high flying notes or impressive dance skills, but rather with his truthful portrayal of a conflicted man. Jackson begins the play as a rising celebrity, but we watch his tragic downfall after he is faced with difficult decisions in his presidency. Mickel accomplished this skillfully.

The 4 person band, lead by Andrew Wright, stood behind the action on the back wall. The band functioned as another character in the show, not an invisible backdrop, and skillfully matched the energy of the actors.

Ellie Beckman, CC’16,  gave a hilarious performance as The Narrator, using her power scooter to launch herself into the action of scenes.  Sadly, after only a few scenes, Jackson pulls out a pistol and shoots the narrator saying, “I think I can take it from here.”  We wish Beckman had been kept alive, as she was certainly one of the stronger links in the show.

Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson does not hold back or wait for applause–it keeps offering proposals to the audience until some reaction is evoked. The crude and absurd humor may not have been accessible to everyone, but if you weren’t laughing because you thought it was funny, you definitely laughed out of discomfort.

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10 Comments

  1. Correction  

    Emily Feinstein is BC '14 and Andrew Wright is CC '14

  2. Anonymous  

    No mention of anyone else in the cast, just that they wore tight clothes??? REALLY? This production was incredible. The cast was one of the best I've seen in years. Everyone was great.

    Also the music isn't really "haunting—" it's the rockiest a punk-rock musical can get.

  3. "APUSH"  

    did nobody else call it USAP

  4. excUSE ME  

    BUT PAULINA PINSKY THO DID U EVEN WATCH THIS SHOW UGH LIKE


    ALL HAIL QUEEN P

  5. Lyricist was on crack

    "We'll take the land back from the French and Spanish
    And other people in other European countries
    And other countries too
    And also other places
    I'm pretty sure it's our land anyway"

    Lyrics could use work and Music sounded a ton like Green Day and Rise Against , great performances and band though.

    • That's the point

      it's a parody of 90's punk music.

    • Tired of Bwog

      I'm wondering if Bwog realises that Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson was not written by Emily Feinstein, any other member of the creative team, or any member of the cast.
      This was an adaptation of a show that previously was on Broadway, so while I guess we can all talk about how the lyrics may have been lacking in parts, if we are going to review a student theatre performance, instead of writing a book report on the contents of the play, we can maybe discuss the performances of the actors, the outstanding work of the creative team, or the absolutely amazing lighting design?
      I'm sure that I wasn't the only one in the audience recognizing the genius of Feinstein's adaptation. Stress on "adaptation." I don't understand why the author here went to such great pains to comment on the show itself, as opposed to the performances of the actors? Seems like a wasted review to me. We could all look up plot summaries and reviews of the original if we really wanted to. But nowhere could we review the CMTS adaptation, so Bwog kind of wasted an opportunity here.
      I'm sure you are all going to thumb me down I'm ready for you!!!

  6. But like  

    No mention of the design? Really? The lighting design was perfect for the space and some of the best I've seen at Columbia. The costumes and minimalist set were perfect for the show. Only mentioning that they wore tight clothes is really overlooking the incredible design of this show and how it catered to the cast's depiction of the story.

  7. i mean it's just a bad review though  

    it's not a theater kid bwog-hating vitriolic comment to point out that this review completely missed the point of what a theatre review is supposed to be, eg instead of a book review, an actual critique of the performance and design of the show.

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