Composer Michael Friedman, best known for Broadway’s Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson, passed away today at the age of 41. Friedman, who served as artistic director of New York City Center’s Encores! series and The Public Theater’s Director of Public Forum, succumbed to AIDS/HIV-related complications.
Predating Hamilton by five years, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson is a comedic rock musical recounting the founding of the Democratic Party. It posits Andrew Jackson as an pop-punk rocker and addresses populism, the Indian Removal Act, and his relationship with his wife, Rachel.
The show premiered at the Public in 2010 before transferring to Broadway that same year.
Friedman’s credits also include Unknown Soldier, Pretty Filthy, The Fortress of Solitude, and Saved, a musical adaptation of the 2004 queer indie. As part of the theater company The Civilians, he contributed music to other shows, like Gone Missing, Nobody’s Lunch, This Beautiful City, In the Footprint, and The Great Immensity.
His music, which earned Friedman an Obie Award for sustained achievement, has also been heard at the New York Shakespeare Festival, Roundabout Theatre Company, Second Stage, and Signature Theatre.
We are devastated to hear the news of Michael Friedman's passing. A remarkable artist and a remarkable human. RIP friend.
— Signature Theatre (@SignatureTheatr) September 9, 2017
RIP Michael Friedman, 41, hugely gifted composer and thinker. An unspeakable loss for the theater world. pic.twitter.com/x1wblTCVUI
— Adam Feldman (@FeldmanAdam) September 9, 2017
Michael Friedman was the smartest, most talented person I knew. This is terrible. https://t.co/SzyOsgcmu6
— Jesse Oxfeld (@joxfeld) September 9, 2017