Interiors: Salvaged Junk on Broadway

No – the title of the post doesn’t refer to yet another revival, creaking to life and ready to separate tourists from their hard-earned dollars on the Great White Way.   (Sorry.  I had to use that phrase at least once.)

It’s a reference to “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson”, a musical about America’s 7th President and first real populist American head-of-state.  The New York Times ran an article a few weeks ago on set designer Donyale Werle and her work for the show:

Many materials for the show, which Ms. Werle estimated had a design budget of about $400,000, were salvaged from the street, purchased at flea markets, borrowed from friends or reclaimed from closed shows.

our 7th president from behind

The set design is well worth a look – click here for an interactive feature on what $400,000 worth of other peoples’ detritus will buy you.  The producers should sell an all-access pass to the set as an add-on to the ticket purchase price.  This would be ideal for weirdos like me who would pay real (though not very much) money to poke around all that artfully arranged trash and pretend we had stumbled on the home of some demented collector.

Taxidermy is involved of course, along with some anachronistic elements such as plastic pill bottles.  They did drugs back then to you know.  And just in case you didn’t, there’s a tidy little pile of cocaine to make the point.  (No, not real cocaine, dummy).

I’m not too sure about the show itself.  Not convinced that I want my early 19th century history served up to me via emo and rock star references.  But I am intrigued and were I not saddled with a very bourgeois life (if not – or so I fancy – the sensibility to go along with it), I might just get on down to New York and check out “Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson” myself.

I can’t claim to be interested for the sake of history, but I can claim a deep interest in seeing a 150-pound stitched-together horse suspended upside down over the audience.  I’m not sure what makes a good Broadway show, but I know what makes a good show.  And an upside-down horse as set design qualifies.


all eyeliner and antlers

photographer: Bruce Glikas

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