American Idiot, based on the Green Day album of the same name, bursts onto the stage with a flurry of lights and blasting guitars. Sex, drugs and rock and roll, this show has all three in spades. If that trio is not your cup of tea then this one probably isn’t for you.
The plot revolves around three friends who find their lives pulling them in very different directions. The musical, a flurry of angst and head-banging with no intermission, is packed with discontent 20-somethings pretending to be tougher than they are. The set is a dirty warehouse with movable scaffolding and a live band on the stage. The back wall is covered with three dozen television screens.
The females in the cast, especially Kennedy Caughell and Alyssa DiPalma, are incredibly talented and almost underutilized. They shine in numbers like “Dearly Beloved” and “21 Guns” and then fade to the background as we focus in on the guys’ issues.
The production is incredibly dependant upon gimmicks. From a Peter Pan-style number with actors flying through the air to the televised song lyrics being broadcast across the whole back wall of the set; the results is interesting but often unnecessary. The show is full of energy but its strength lies in its quieter numbers. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “Wake Me Up When September Ends” held the audience captive. Where the gimmicks work the result is memorable. In one scene the rubber tubing used to shoot heroine is used to create a strange ballet.
Though the show could have benefited from a simpler approach, rock operas are over-the-top by nature and embrace their tendency towards sensory overload. If you wouldn’t be at home at a Green Day concert then this show should be a pass for you, but if you would then get ready for a rocking good time. Adult language and themes make this an adult only show.
Don't Miss the Show
The show runs until Sunday, April 7 at Clowes Memorial Hall so hurry to get tickets to the show. Tickets can be purchased at Clowes Memorial Hall, The Murat Theatre, by calling (800)-982-2787 or online at www.broadwayacrossamerica.com. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. Sunday.
Photos Courtesy of Broadway Across America