After a week off for winter break, returning students involved with the spring musical “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” are starting to feel the pressure.
With the first official run-through of the show occurring just days before break began, performers voiced their concerns with about a month separating them from opening night.
“We’re doing pretty well with the energy level when we get into it; that’s a really good thing. I think we’re feeling the show and finding meaning behind it,” said Brandon Bailey, who is leading the cast as Andrew Jackson.
“We’re putting our all into it; however, the amount of energy we put into often leads to a lot of talking and we don’t get a lot of stuff down. But, the energy is great for when we’re using it for what we’re supposed to be using it for,” he said.
While high-energy has resulted in distraction, the cast is now dealing with the fact that four members – who were a part of the recent Black Box show “Dinner” – need to be brought up to speed with the rest of the cast.
“While we’re not ready, I think we’re on the right track,” said Anders Bright, who is portraying John Quincy Adams. “I’m just excited to be working with Harry as my director for the first time. It’s cool to see how he works.”
Cast member Leo Richardson agrees.
“The only other directing experience I’ve had with Harry was the musical last year —which was “American Idiot” — and it’s different, but the shows are different. “American Idiot” was a rock opera, so there really wasn’t any scene-based acting, whereas this show does have a fair amount of scene-based acting,” said Richardson, who is bringing Henry Clay to life on stage.
At times during rehearsal, it was very clear that certain scenes needed work, at one point prompting an “I have no idea what that was all about” comment from McEnerny. He later addressed the cast at the end of rehearsal saying, “This has to be the base, we can not go below this.”
Regardless, cast members are simply excited to share what they’ve been working on to the public.
“If you enjoyed “American Idiot,” you will very likely enjoy this show, because musically it is of a very similar style; we have the live rock band back this year. If you like cynical political commentary, also come see this show, because you’ll probably laugh a lot,” Richardson said.
And for some, a parallel between the show and the past election is all too clear.
“The one thing I will say in regards to the show and our current political situation, is that our current president has a painting of Andrew Jackson hung in the Oval Office, and to think about that when you watch this show,” Richardson said.