Notable rock musical premieres locally tonight | Program Notes

Notable rock musical premieres locally tonight

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With the election over, here’s your first chance to see a musical exploring how celebrity, emotionalism and politics intertwine.

Robert Morris University’s Colonial Theatre is staging Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson. Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman’s 2010 musical — done in a style typically described as emo rock — is a postmodern take on the nation’s seventh president as a swaggering rock star.

Colonial Theatre is not normally a big force on the local stage scene. But it’s the first to jump on this brash-sounding show. Its tongue-in-cheek marketing tagline is “History just got all sexypants.”

Reviewing the New York-premiere production, New York Times critic Ben Brantley said that the play stakes "a claim as the most entertaining and most perceptive political theater of the season."

The raucous, high-energy show comes with a “parental discretion advised” label.

Jackson, a war hero also known as an Indian killer, took the White House in 1829 as a populist insurgent.

The Colonial production is directed by Barbara Burgess-Lefebvre, with music direction by Joshua Stubbs and choreography by Lisa Elliot.

The show runs at Massey Hall, on RMU’s Moon campus, tonight through Sun., Nov. 11. Shows tonight through Saturday at at 8 p.m., with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.

Tickets are $10. The Colonial Theatre box office is at 412-397-5454.

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