Why create a high-octane rock musical about Andrew Jackson, our seventh U.S. President? Well, why not? Jackson was not only a guiding force for the creation of the democratic party and populist movement, he was also instrumental in forcing native Americans to relocate west of the Mississippi river as part of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. In other words, the man made a significant and indelible mark on America's history pages, for better or worse.
In Bailiwick Chicago's fist-pumping production, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson brings this controversial slice of history to the forefront with sex, swagger and style. An underground hit off-Broadway in 2009 before moving to a full-scale Broadway production in 2011, BBAJ has the attitude of the tribal rock musical Hair, the slyly referential humor of Family Guy and the artistic fearlessness of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. The lean and mean Matthew Holzfeind gives us a rendition of Jackson that's straight out of the Mick Jagger handbook, if you can imagine such a thing.
This is that rare kind of theatre that you wonder: where in the world the inspiration came from, and why didn't anyone think of it sooner? The combination of emo rock and history lesson makes for a truly unique night of theatre. Also, it's BYOB. So grab a beer from the corner liquor store, don your tight jeans and smokey eye liner and head to National Pastime Theater in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood for a 'bloody' good time.
COMPLETELY UNRELATED, BUT TOTALLY IMPORTANT FOOTNOTE:
Looking for that last-minute Halloween costume? The Goodman Theatre is hosting a costume sale (the first one in five years) from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Oct. 20 at the theater, 170 N. Dearborn. In the past, this sale has been ridiculously popular, so get there early to secure the best selection. Prices start at $1. The sale includes items from numerous Goodman productions such as "Passion Play" (2007), "Turn of the Century" (2008), "Animal Crackers" (2009), "Candide" (2010) and "Camino Real" (2011), among many others.