“In Washington you can’t get anything done” is a phrase that you expect to be cited to President Barack Obama, but this quote is attributed to Andrew Jackson, our seventh president. If you are not familiar with him, then take out a twenty-dollar bill and the ruffled looking grim gentleman is Andrew Jackson.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson at Actor’s Express is a fun history lesson into the ups and downs of a true “bad ass” president, who came into office riding a wave of frustration from a voting public who wanted “change” to the ways of Washington. Sound familiar?
This history class is much more fun than one you may have taken in school, it moves quickly on the accomplishments of this gentleman from Tennessee, often referred to as “old hickory”. Andrew Jackson played by Maxim Gukhman, who not only favors the general but has the stamina to keep this high pace story moving along at warped speed. This tale gleams over Jackson’s accomplishments, first congressman, then Senator from Tennessee, judge, first territorial governor of Florida, General, and then two term Commander-in-Chief and the list goes on and on.
This story even chronicles his love affair with his beautiful bride Rachel Jackson (Galen Crawley)and showcases the love for his adopted son Lyncoya played by the enthusiastic and talented young Sam Costantino who is quickly becoming a familiar face in the Atlanta theatre scene.
I was quickly transported to the nineteenth century with the pre-show hootenanny is a fun sing along. The set is really cool, it looks like an old time western salon (at the time Tennessee was considered the Western frontier) with a patriotic scheme of red, white, and blue and in house bar with drink specials that makes for a festive environment.
In a quick blend of the present and past pop culture you see in one scene a fight with Andrew and a Spaniards for Florida in a clever way is also a homage to Michael Jackson’s “beat it” video as they get ready to rumble to the tunes of “Beat It”.
Last summer I took a road trip to the Jackson’s home outside of Nashville, the Hermitage, but must admit I had a lot more fun learning this history lesson with the kids at Actor’s Express than touring the musty old plantation grounds of where Andrew and Rachel lie together for eternity.
Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is a play I would definitely watch again, it is fast pace, rockin’ and rollin’, and a good story that showcases the old adage of politics, “the more things change… the more they stay the same.”
History notes that Jackson’s last words were to his love ones gathered around, “Oh, do not cry, be good children and we shall all meet in heaven”… now you don’t have to wait to meet Jackson, you can go to Actors Express and just say hello in Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson which runs through February 17.
Directed by Freddie Ashley, based on the book by Alex Timbers with music and lyrics by Michael Friedman, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson will not disappoint, for information visit: www.Actors-Express.com or simply call (404)607-SHOW.
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