New Line Theatre, "the bad boy of musical theatre," has secured the rights to three premieres for its 22nd season of alternative, adult musical theatre -- the outrageous emo rock musical BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, running Sept. 27-Oct. 20, 2012; the powerhouse Pulitzer Prize-winning rock opera NEXT TO NORMAL, running Feb. 28-March 23, 2013; and the hilariously dark, adult musical comedy BUKOWSICAL, running May 30-June 22, 2013.
The season opens in the fall, Sept. 27-Oct. 20, 2012, with the St. Louis premiere of BLOODY BLOODY ANDREW JACKSON, the audacious, hard-rocking mix of historical fact and fiction, redefining America's controversial seventh president, the man who invented the Democratic Party, drove the Native Americans west (the ones he didn't slaughter), and ultimately doubled the size of our nation. Written by Alex Timbers and Michael Friedman, with a rowdy blend of outrageous comedy, anarchic theatricality and an infectious emo rock score, the show overflows with insightful, comic parallels to our dysfunctional American politics today, right from the aggressive opening number, "Populism, Yea Yea!"
New Line has assembled an all-star cast of veteran New Liners, including John Sparger (Hair, Jesus Christ Superstar, Johnny Appleweed, Evita) as Jackson, with D. Mike Bauer, Stephanie Brown, Brian Claussen, Mike Dowdy, Zachary Allen Farmer, Amy Kelly, Nicholas Kelly, Todd Micali, Taylor Pietz, Sarah Porter, BC Stands, and Chrissy Young. Almost half this cast also appeared in last season's critically acclaimed monster hits Cry-Baby and High Fidelity. Scott Miller directs Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Justin Smolik leads the New Line Band. Amy Kelly will design costumes, with Kenneth Zinkl designing lighting, Scott L. Schoonover designing the set, and Donald Smith designing sound.
The Public Theatre’s artistic director Oskar Eustis wrote about the show in the cast album liner notes, "I think Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is an experiment appropriate for our times. It may be about our seventh president, but it tackles the core of American populism – that ebullient, sentimental, no-nonsense, self-pitying, anti-intellectual, rowdy energy that is at the core of our national identity – with a precision and wit that speaks totally to our moment. The show invokes reactionary pleasures in order to savagely criticize them. It is a dangerous game, but Friedman and Timbers play it brilliantly. This is who we are, and if it’s horrifying, it can also be a lot of fun. What a contradiction, America. . . Who says political theatre can't rock?"
For more information about the show, visit http://www.newlinetheatre.com/bbajpage.html.
New Line's season continues Feb. 28-March 23, 2013 with the first St. Louis production of the powerful, thrilling rock opera NEXT TO NORMAL, winner of the Tony Award for best score and the Pulitzer Prize for drama. From the composer of High Fidelity comes the most adult, most mature rock musical to hit Broadway in decades, an unrelentingly intense, brutally honest – and often, darkly funny – story about a bipolar woman and the family that grapples with her illness, all set to a hard driving rock and roll score that explodes with raw, searing emotion.
With a searing, ground-breaking rock score, this is an emotional powerhouse of a musical about a family trying to take care of themselves and each other in the midst of one woman's fierce battle with bipolar disorder. It's one of the most emotional, most intense musicals in years.
The show began its life in 1998 as a ten-minute workshop sketch called Feeling Electric. Writer Brian Yorkey brought the idea to composer Tom Kitt (High Fidelity, Bring It On) while both were at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop. Both Yorkey and Kitt moved on to other projects, but they kept returning to their ten-minute piece, eventually expanding it to full-length. This version went through several workshops as the team kept working on it. In September 2005, an abbreviated version of the full-length piece was part of the New York Musical Theatre Festival, where it attracted some attention. Second Stage Theatre in New York workshopped the piece in 2006 and 2007, with director Michael Greif (Rent, Peter and the Starcatcher, Jane Eyre, Grey Gardens) at the helm. The show opened off Broadway in 2008, now retitled Next to Normal¸ where it ran about a month. Still it won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Score, and it was nominated for two other Outer Critics Circle Awards (including Best New Off Broadway Musical), three Lucille Lortel Awards, two Drama League Awards, and two Drama Desk Awards. The team kept working. Another new version of the show was then given a regional theatre production at the Arena Stage from November 2008 through January 2009. And finally, the show began previews on Broadway in March 2009, running 754 performances. New Line presents the first St. Louis production of the show.