Sunday, May 16, 2010

Emocratic party

So you don't think I just gorge myself on high culture: I went today to the Public to see a fantastic emo rock musical called "Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson" (written and directed by Alex Timbers of Les Frères Corbusier; music and lyrics by Michael Friedman). It's hard to describe, except as a ribald romp, deliciously entertaining, perfectly performed, thought provoking and - rarest thing among contemporary musicals -
hummable. Great songs! ("Second Nature" made me cry.) And, well, as art. It does something, makes something important available for experience and reflection, which I'm not sure you could do in any other form (certainly not as argument). Something about America's youth, and about an enduring youthful exuberance and anxiety in the American character, about populism, pop music and presidents (it was first conceived with Bush in mind, but has since picked up resonances from Huckabee and Edwards through Obama to Palin and Beck). The run's been extended: catch it if you can.

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