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"Populism, yeah, yeah!"
A comedic/historical/dramatic rock musical following an exaggerated version of Andrew Jackson.
Loosely follows the adult life of Jackson as a military hero, seventh president of the United States, and overall total fucking Badass. Completely irreverent, the show does not shy away from the darker side of Jackson, including Indian removal.
After a very successful Off-Broadway run at the Public Theatre, it opened on Broadway in September of 2010 (to significantly less success).
The show itself is very much a parody of "emo" music with the story it tells. In a sense, it tells of America in its adolescence, and portrays this with fitting music, complete with raging hormones. Hence why the songs are all different kinds of awesome, yet completely silly.
Includes examples of:
- American Political System: Mercilessly mocked in "The Corrupt Bargain"
- Anachronism Stew: The whole thing, as you might have realized, especially "Rock Star."
- Andrew fuckin' Jackson
- Arch Enemy: Quincy Adams, for Jackson
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "The Great Compromise"
Rachel Jackson (in a wistful tone): I always thought I'd live in a house with a dog, and some kids, and some slaves...
"Who am I? I'm Andrew FUCKING Jackson!"
- Beethoven Was an Alien Spy: Andrew Jackson was an wannabe-rockstar Emo Teen.
- The Blind Leading the Blind: What the DC elite think of Jackson and the American people.
But do you really want the American people running their own country?
- Bloodier and Gorier: Literally and figuratively.
- Especially in the number "Illness as a Metaphor," where Andrew and Rachel slit their wrists.
- You feel you shouldn't laugh, but that's what it wants you to do, and it's also a sharp jab at "emo" musicians glorifying something as horrible as self-harming.
"If you feel like you might throw up/Well that's a metaphor for how I feel/When I dream of you/Bathed in your metaphorical blood."
- Corrupt Politician: Played for laughs in "The Corrupt Bargain"
- The Dandy: Most of the Washington elite are portrayed as this, though the whole cast wears a lot of makeup and lace.
- Dark and Troubled Past: "Sometimes your whole family dies of cholera"
- Dawson Casting: Walker, a six-foot twentysomething stud, spends the first ten minutes of the show playing a ten year-old version of Jackson.
- Dead Presidents: Jackson obviously, John Quincy Adams makes an appearance and George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe all are discussed in "Rock Star"
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Done for comedic effect.
- Eagle Land: Jingoism is a strong undercurrent.
Cause it's the early 19th century,
We'll take the land back from the indians,
We'll take the land back from the French and Spanish,
And other people in other European countries,
And other countries too,
And also other places,
I'm pretty sure it's our land anyway...
- Emo Teen: How Jackson is portrayed.
- Mr. Fanservice: Benjamin Walker, who plays Andrew Jackson. Manages to stay 100% sexy while complaining about his life. Plus the fact he's wearing super-tight jeans.
- Doubles as Fetish Fuel for those with fetishes for dudes in tight, tight jeans.
- Four-Star Badass: Jackson, again.
- Genius Bonus: "I'm sure Michelle Foucault would have an opinion, but he hasn't been born yet."
- Hotter and Sexier: History, somewhat parodied in the tag line "HISTORY JUST GOT ALL SEXYPANTS" caps and all.
- Hypocritical Humor: Plenty of examples.
Florida Woman: I mean, I think it's a real tragedy that Jackson moved all the Indians from here in Florida.
Florida Man: Me too. A real tragedy.
Florida Woman: And that's why we hesitated to move here. Absolutely. I mean, we didn't want it to seem like we were endorsing that kind of behavior.
Florida Man: No. Of course not. But, then we were like...it is nice it doesn't snow.
Florida Woman: Um, yeah, it is. So, it's like, it's great that he did that. But we definitely don't condone it.
- "I Am" Song: "I'm Not That Guy" and "I'm So That Guy"
- Incredibly Lame Pun: Popul-jizm.
- John Quincy Adams
- Lemony Narrator: The Storyteller, who pilots an electric wheelchair, wears thick glasses and is obviously in love with Jackson, narrates the early parts of the show. This ends when Jackson shoots her in the neck, signifying him taking control of the story which, metaphorically speaking, we all must do in life. Hence the lyric.
- "Sometimes you have to take the initiative/sometimes your whole family dies of cholera/sometimes you have to make your own story/sometimes you have to shoot the storyteller in the neck!"
- The Musical
- Rock Opera Plot: Jackson loses his family; enters politics to represent the common man against the elite; finds that politics is a harsh mistress when the people begin to resent having to make difficult decisions
Andrew Jackson: "Want to see my stimulus package?"
- Stylistic Suck: A lot of people complain about the show's juvenile attitude and simplistic lyrics, failing to understand that all of that is intentional: the show examines an "adolescent" period of America as a country, and comments on it by taking on the immature, self-righteous demeanor of an Emo Teen wannabe-rockstar.
- Would Be Rude to Say Genocide: The musical touches on the Trail of Tears and general persecution of native tribes, played with especially in the song "Ten Little Indians"