Green Day Moved ‘To Tears’ By ‘American Idiot’ Musical

'You just abandon hope of a tissue and let 'em stream,' bassist Mike Dirnt tells MTV News.

Green Day aren’t exactly the kind of guys you’d expect to shed tears over anything, but the first time they watched rehearsals for the Broadway musical version of “American Idiot” — opening Tuesday (April 20) at New York’s St. James Theatre — they did just that.

“I was watching the actors, and I catch the eye of one of the singers, and he just gives me a little [thumbs-up] sign, and so that gave me the courage to look over at the band,” “Idiot” director Michael Mayer told MTV News. “And there were tears in their eyes. I saw that what we were doing was connecting to them on a heart-and-soul level, and it wasn’t about commerce and it wasn’t about business. … All of that went away, and I saw that these are just three wonderful men who made these wonderful songs, [and] we were giving it back to them as this sort of wonderful gift. I was blown away, and I thought, ‘OK, there is something here.’ ”

Of course, we had to verify the story with the guys themselves. So when MTV News caught up with them at “Idiot” rehearsals, we asked: Did the musical really bring on the waterworks?

“All of us actually came to tears, because you don’t get to see Green Day play live if you’re actually in Green Day,” bassist Mike Dirnt said. “But to see these voices and the way all the cast were singing, you just abandon hope of a tissue and let ‘em stream. … [We were like,] ‘No, that’s allergies, man!’ ”

“Yeah, the first night I wasn’t prepared,” drummer Tre Cool added. “[But] the second night, I brought a little thing of tissues and I drank two glasses of wine.”

And while Green Day eventually were able to get through rehearsals without the aid of Kleenex, they’re still emotional, even on the eve of the “Idiot” debut. The show is the culmination of many years’ hard work, a journey that began all the way back in 2003, when the band was writing the songs that would become the American Idiot album. The bandmates still can’t believe it’s finally opening on the Great White Way.

“You know, I think it’s something that goes beyond [all that]. It’s your wildest dream, but you never actually thought it would happen,” frontman Billie Joe Armstrong explained. “And so, when you start to hear the music in that way … you reminisce about why you wrote the song to begin with. Michael Mayer knew what the intention of the record was, and to see that start to come to life is kind of gripping.”

Will you make your way to New York to see “American Idiot” on Broadway? Let us know in the comments below!