Xavier University Theatre Finds New Challenges and Political Relevance in BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON

XUT_Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson promo

Josh Carandang as Andrew Jackson. Photo by Stephen Skiles.

Friday night is SOLD OUT. Only a few tickets remain for the other three performances.

(CINCINNATI, Jan. 26, 2018) — Xavier University Theatre kicks off 2018 with the politically fueled emo rock musical BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON. The show, which features music and lyrics by Michael Friedman and a book by Alex Timbers, takes place Feb. 2 through Feb. 4 in Xavier’s Gallagher Student Center Studio Theatre.

BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON follows the life of our seventh president in a new form. With the country divided into rich and poor, Andrew Jackson begins his steady climb from a child on the wild frontier to military strategist and populist rabblerouser, then, ultimately, president of the United States. Along the way, he meets his wife, Rachel, takes on the Founding Fathers — and rocks like no political figure has ever rocked before. With a raucous blend of outrageous comedy, anarchic theatricality and infectious music, this wildly entertaining 90-minute show asks the question: Is wanting to have a beer with someone reason enough to elect him? What if he’s really, really hot?

BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON will be Xavier’s first musical in its studio space. Choreographer and junior theatre major Annie Mayer believes the show is “one of the biggest technical challenges the department has taken on to date.” In addition to the difficulty of incorporating 17 cast members and a live band into the small black box theatre, Mayer says, “It’s physically impossible to hide anything in the space on both an artistic and technical level, which makes the musical even more raw and in-your-face. BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON is a show that demands to be heard and experienced in an intimate way because its message is so relevant and necessary in 2018.”

The narrative of BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON proved eerily timely for the cast. Donald Burns, a senior theatre and English major, believes that the show “is a great example and reminder that our perfect nation has experienced failure.”

BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON shows both the positive and negative sides of Jackson’s political legacy, highlighting the importance of choosing carefully those we vote into power. According to Stephen Skiles, Xavier University’s director of theatre as well as the show’s director, “In 2006, when this production premiered, the message was ‘Beware.’ Thirteen years later, we think it’s closer to ‘Be Aware.’ The story serves as both a cautionary tale and a call to action for audiences.”

The cast for BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON features Joshua Carandang (Andrew Jackson), Sara Ringenbach (Storyteller), Max Carlson (Male Soloist/Citizen/Phil), Dylan Van Camp (Calhoun/Andrew Sr.), Annie Mayer (Red Eagle/University President), Steven Lindner (John Quincy Adams/Cobbler/Messenger/Tour Guide/Florida Man), Michael Rowlett (Van Buren/Keokuk), Hyehyun Hwang (Lyncoya), Donald Burns (Clay/Black Fox), Amara Shroba (Ensemble/Toula), Gigi Relic (Rachel/Florida Woman), Christine Gallagher (Elizabeth/Erica), Christian Hall (Monroe), Ellie Conniff (Female Soloist/Announcer/Naomi), Seth Mobley (Bandleader), Carly Mulert (Ensemble) and Andrew Leonard (Ensemble).

In addition to Skiles, other members of the creative team include Scot Buzza (music director); Joe Beumer (set design/lighting design); Kevin Semancik (sound design); Maggie Dick (costume design); Ellie Deutsch and Caroline Conard (props design); and Annie Mayer (choreography). The stage manager is Katherine Ivins. Assistant stage managers are Emmy Rice and Emily Jorgenson.

Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 2 and 3 and 2 p.m. on Feb. 3 and 4. Tickets for BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON are available now through the Xavier University Theatre Box Office. They are $17 each for adults and $12 each for students, as well as Xavier faculty and staff. The show is recommended for mature audiences. To purchase tickets, visit www.xavier.edu/theatretickets or call 513-745-3939.

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