Green Day’s Musical ‘American Idiot’ Now On Broadway, Tony Awards Front-Runner

Green Day’s Musical ‘American Idiot’ Now On Broadway, Tony Awards Front-Runner

Ah yes, teenage angst for a generation with nothing to be angst-ridden over.

That pretty much sums up Green Day’s seminal album American Idiot. Now the 2004 Grammy Award winning blockbuster is being brought to life on the Great White Way.

On Wednesday, March 24, 2010, American Idiot the musical opened for previews on Broadway at the St. James Theatre. The show’s official opening is April 20th.

Visitors will be treated to an hour-and-a-half of teeny bopper rebellion replete with songs from Green Day’s American Idiot and their latest release, 21st Century Breakdown (2009). There’s also some bonus material thrown in for good measure.

The show is directed by Michael Mayer. He was at the helm of a similar type show, the Tony Award winning best musical Spring Awakening (2006).

American Idiot’s book is credited to Green Day’s frontman Bille Joe Armstrong and Mayer.

The show stars John Gallagher, Jr. (also from Spring Awakening), Stark Sands, Michael Esper, Rebecca Naimi Jones, Christina Sajous, Mary Faber, and the great Tony Vincent as St. Jimmy.

Those in the know believe American Idiot is the front-runner to win the Tony Award for Best Musical.

You may ask how a show that hasn’t even officially opened yet can earn such high praise. Well, the show had its world premiere off-Broadway at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre (go figure) in the fall of 2009.

American Idiot’s story is described with a lot of hollow phrases like “soulless suburbs,” “post-9/11,” “new generation,” “fear and cynicism,” and “struggle to find meaning.” Those terms are just a fancy way of saying “I’m a lazy slacker who hates George Bush.”

American Idiot maybe the next great American musical but it’s just another rant in a long line of phony counter-culture diatribes. It may claim to have great insight into a generation’s fractured and fragile psyche but in reality it’s just as profound as Legally Blonde.

“What makes a true artist,” professes Armstrong, “is putting yourself out there and doing things that are dangerous and vulnerable.”

However, what Armstrong calls dangerous has been dangerous for thousands of years (see the Greeks). It’s rebelling for rebelling sake; being different like everyone else; and speaking power to power when you are the power.

An example of this fake anxiety can be found in the second line of the musical’s eponymous song:

Don’t want a nation under the new media

What new media would that be? Would it be the new media that has turned American Idiot from an album that sold 15 million copies into a Broadway musical and than that Broadway musical into a Hollywood movie? That’s right a movie; rumors are swirling Tom Hanks will direct.

“The thought was always for it to be staged or create a film,” Armstrong said.

Way to stick it to man, Green Day!

Then there’s this jewel:

Television dreams of tomorrow. We’re not the ones who’re meant to follow.

However, every time Land of Punt turns on the television LOP is bombarded by an ideology that is nearly identical to Green Day’s. In other words, more people are following Green Day than are following the fractions they ridicule.

Perhaps we’re too hard on the scrappy little kids. After all if they don’t release their pent-up frustrations than all that anger from not getting a first generation iPhone and having a white chocolate latte with 2% milk because the barista was out of skim will boil to the surface and cause some very severe acne.

Nonetheless, Green Day can write a catchy song and Mayer knows how to put together a hit musical. If you can overlook the fact that Green Day is calling you an idiot, or you’re not American to begin with, you’ll really enjoy the show.

As for Green Day the working punk rock band, they kick off a North America tour Aug. 3rd in Camden, New Jersey. Their special guest will be AFI.

Greenday tickets go on sale March 26 and they will be “all-inclusive.” That means the extra fees are already factored into the ticket price.

The band’s itinerary has a four-day break that just so happens to corresponds with the Lollapalooza Festival in Chicago held Aug. 6-8.

Other highlights from their late summer jaunt include an Aug. 11 show at the Jiffy Lube Live in Washington D.C., an Aug. 16 show at the Comcast Center in Boston, and an Aug. 31 show at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Los Angeles.

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