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Theatre Review: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson

 Halie Williams Theatre Review: Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson
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I’m sure you thought Andrew Jackson was just the seventh president and a controversial populist, but what history didn’t make clear, was that Jackson was also a skinny jean-wearing, eye-liner-rocking, emo rock superstar.

Okay, whether or not that is historically true, it makes for an entertaining story.

“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson,” a rock musical written by Alex Timbers, that takes the audience back through Jackson’s life, opened Thursday, staged by the Available Light Theater at the Riffe Center and is playing through Oct. 13.

The satire-loaded, 90-minute musical shines light on Jackson’s political career, predominately his push towards the relocation of Native Americans and his design of being a president “for the people.”

Comprised of his life as a young boy without parents, life as a general, defeat of several battles, and his journey to presidency, “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” takes Jackson’s legacy and turns it into a delightful and humorous performance.

While the music, written by Michael Friedman, isn’t particularly catchy, with the exception of opening tune “Populism, yeah yeah,” the eagerness of the cast, accompanied by the four-piece band, is pure enjoyment.

Nick Lingnofski, who plays Andrew Jackson, commands the role of an aggressive, merciless, heartbreaking, rock god, and the epitome of an old-fashioned celebrity. Lingnofski moves his way around the stage with charm and not a second thought to the quick wit the role requires.

While Lingnofski and Amy Rittberger, who plays his wife, Rachel Jackson, execute tremendous starring roles, with their belted ballads, the supporting actors sometimes outshine them.

Jeb Bigelow, who plays John Quincy Adams, Drew Eberly, as Martin Van Buren, and Jay Rittberger, who plays Henry Clay, each stole the show at certain times with their comedic characters.

With that being said, it’s safe to say that each member of the ensemble contained the attitude, charisma and wit to brilliantly backtrack through this piece of history and turn it into an uproarious parody.

In spite of the fact of the young cast and the shows few slow moments, “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” proves to be a clever and intelligent amusement doused with a quick-witted script, cynicism and hilarity.

“Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” is staged by the Available Light Theater at the Riffe Center at 77 S. High St., through Oct. 13. Tickets are $25.

More information can be found online at www.avltheatre.com.

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