The Hunters of Kentucky Ride Off into the Sunset

Nice Things People Have Been Saying:

“WONDERFUL! I have been singing songs from the show at people all day. THANK YOU MS. SYIEK for your musicalmaking.” – Artistic Director, Theatre Mab

“Wow, just wow! The show was AMAZING!!! The Cast was AMAZING!!! We loved it!!! Great work!!!” – Theatre Educator

“Thanks for your awesome show & work. I’ve been singing “Populism yea yea” in my head all day!” – Co-Artistic Director, Drive Theatre Company

“Great and very creative job – – and you’re a very very talented company too.” – Composer, Stratford Shakespeare Festival

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In the spirit of the closing number of the show, we wanted to take the time to reflect upon another summer gone by with the fantastically talented cast, band and creative team behind Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson.

This show afforded us the opportunity to take a careful look at the political climate of both the 19th century and today. And with tongue firmly in cheek all the while.

Andrew Jackson remains one of the most controversial political figures America has known. A paradox of a man poured into the role of Chief of State, he was equal parts Barack Obama (charismatic populist), John McCain (crusty war hero), Sarah Palin (loud, clumsy outsider), and George W. Bush (cocky, loyal, and confident). Timbers’s and Friedman’s musical aptly argues that this country’s relationship with its president is and always has been deeply and irrationally personal. An appropriate and illuminating production in the midst of election year, this exploration of the nation’s seventh president revealed the eerie parallels between Jacksonian government and our modern-day political scene and begged the question of why do we idol-worship our national figures with such vigor. Are they not also just human beings with their unique qualities and faults as well?

 This show also tapped into the rowdy, anti-intellectual, populist energy that is at the core of our national identity. A country built by radical rebels and religious extremists, we too bandy between paradoxical identities. In efforts to right ourselves (and the country), we look toward new leaders with hopeful eyes and shun the same ones upon realizing that they are not the instant fix to the country’s woes. This production took a magnifying glass to our contradictory nature and all to the tune of blaring emo-rock. This rip-roaring satirical journey into America’s not-so-distant past was a wonderful way to celebrate how far we’ve come, and see just how much work we have left to do.

Until next time…

“Andrew Jackson, I am given to understand, was a patriot and a traitor. He was one of the greatest of generals, and wholly ignorant of the art of war. A writer brilliant, elegant, eloquent, without being able to compose a correct sentence, or spell words of four syllables. The first of statesmen, he never devised, he never framed a measure. He was the most candid of men, and was capable of the profoundest dissimulation. A most law-defying, law-obeying citizen. A stickler for discipline, he never hesitated to disobey his superior. A democratic autocrat. An urbane savage. An atrocious saint.”

–       Jackson’s first biographer, James Parton

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