Michael Friedman, the award-winning composer of Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, died today at 41. John Michael Friedman was born on Sept. 24, 1975 in Boston, grew up primarily in Philadelphia, and passed away in Manhattan from AIDS complications. He was working on the final touches for the music and lyrics of The Abominables, a hockey-themed musical commissioned by the Children’s Theatre Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Friedman was one of the founding artists for the troupe The Civilians, the artistic director of Encores! Off-Center, and for many years an artist-in-residence and director of Public Forum. He was also a graduate of Harvard University. The Civilians is co-developing The Abominables with the Children’s Theatre Company.
Although his music for 2013’s Mr. Burns, a Post-Electric Play has received much traction, Friedman is most strongly associated with the controversial musical Bloody, Bloody Andrew Jackson, for which he wrote the music and lyrics. That musical’s depiction – some say glamorization and rehabilitation – of one of the most controversial U.S. presidents has attracted significant protest from Native Americans and other parties.