Is there a story to the show or do they just play Green Day’s music at the show, asked G as we were headed up to NYC. Hello?!?
Me (trying not to sound exasperated): Yes, there’s a story. Three disaffected youth and their stories. Just like there’s a story to the albums. (Sigh.)
When I saw that American Idiot was playing on Broadway, I was pretty excited. First off, I love Green Day’s music. Yes I love black eyeliner, flipping “adults” off and being generally moody. In short, I really haven’t outgrown my 20’s, have I?
I also liked the concept of bringing the various characters in American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown to life. How would it work? Would it be as show-y as the concert? As energetic and enraged?
Still, it wasn’t until the announcement that Billie Joe Armstrong would be playing St. Jimmy for select shows that I pulled the trigger to get tickets. It helped that we were heading to New York for the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show as well (more on that later).
The cast opened to a rocking rendition of American Idiot, with television screens flashing images and words, the entire place buzzing with barely contained energy. It ended with the cast standing on stage, each person with a guitar hanging around their neck, with Billie Joe singing Time of Your Life – just like the finale to the concert. In between, 90 minutes of frenetic music, emotion, dancing. A great scene between Johnny and Whatsername dancing with a piece of drug paraphenalia keeping the two connected and intertwined. Note: if you’re shy about profanity or fairly graphic drug use, then this is not your show.
The show ended with a truly concert-like flourish. One of the cast members threw the drumsticks into the crowd, and Armstrong opened a bottle of champagne which he proceeded to share with the cast and then spray onto the crowd. Broadway show meets Green Day concert antics.
As the crowd left, buzzing with energy, the true fans were lined up behind roped off areas, waiting for the cast to walk by and sign their programs. What a show!