BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON presented by Know Theatre of Cincinnati through May 12. You can read the show description here.
So this is “a raucous blend of outrageous comedy, anarchic theatricality and an infectious rock n’ roll soundtrack.” Yeah…it’s not really my thing. I mean, I’m not a fan of impressionism painting either, but that doesn’t make it an invalid style of expression. Many patrons in the audience enjoyed the show, but for me, it’s just not why I go to see theater. Amid all the chaos, I never found anything or anyone to connect to emotionally.
Visually the set design worked with its multiple levels and ramps. I liked the washed-out look of the flag background and would have like to have seen that continue across the Presidential seal on the center platform. It also would have been nice to have the motif of the set carry somehow to the band platform, especially since the band was incorporated into several of the scenes. Good work on the lighting as well. Both were designed by Andrew Hungerford.
Also nicely-done were the costumes (design by Noelle Wedig). A few didn’t quite mesh, but overall they worked well. The lead’s blood stained shirt and jacket were personal favorites.
Musically I felt there were a few rough spots. Singing with a live rock band is difficult and different from regular musical theater. Some of the harmonies were a little off, a few song entrances were muddy as singers didn’t start together and a soloist or two did come in flat. Soloists were also a little difficult to hear against the full band. A bump to the mics and a equal decrease in the band volume is an easy fix. I also thought ??? ???? [Verifying actor’s name -Rob] acoustic number was well done. BTW I did notice that the bio for the music director is missing from the program.
There was some strong character work from several actors in the ensemble. Personal favorites included Matt Hill, Datus Puryear, Chris Wesselman & Tori Wiggins. Kelsey Crismon as Rachel Jackson found a great balance between her character and the chaos going on around her.
Overall I felt the book of the show was buried by all the “outrageous comedy and anarchic theatricality” layered on top of it. At times it felt more like a comedy sketch than a musical.
BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON concludes KTC’s 2011-2012 season. I also attended GRUESOME PLAYGROUND INJURIES, ABRAHAM LINCOLN’S BIG GAY DANCE PARTY and COLLAPSE. Of the four, my personal favorite was the well-done COLLAPSE with a solid ensemble and a strong performance by Annie Fitzpatrick. COLLAPSE reminded me of the scripts that were produced by-the-then Know Theatre Tribe at Gabriel’s Corner. I miss that.
Click here for a complete list of show times, articles and other reviews for BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON.
I would enjoy hearing what you think about the show, Know’s 2011-2012 season, or my review. All I ask is that you express your opinion without attacking someone else’s opinion. You can post your comments below.