Green Day’s “American Idiot” musical made its official Broadway premiere at New York’s St. James Theatre on Tuesday night. If the band being moved to tears by the production isn’t motivation enough to make the trip to NYC to see the show, well, we figured we’d let the cast and crew tell you why you should check it out.
“As big a fan as someone is of Green Day, they might not even know how much dramatic potential is inside these songs,” director Michael Mayer said. “And they have never heard them sung in this way before, so I think they may have a deeper appreciation of what Billie Joe and Mike and Tre have written. I hope they do [come see it], because I am just continually astonished by their artistry and the power and the beauty of these songs.”
Like Green Day said earlier , the “Idiot” musical is a lot like seeing the band live: roaring, loud and unapologetic. But to hear Mayer tell it, there’s also a side most fans can’t see in concert — one that is brought right to the forefront on the Broadway stage.
“When you go see them in concert, or you watch their videos or you go see them in any of their work or like awards shows and stuff, anytime that you see them perform, they’re so ferocious,” he said. “They’re wild, but then when you get to know them as people … they’re really sensitive, intelligent, articulate, caring people … and that’s an aspect that comes through in this play, in these songs.”
That personal touch extends to the cast of “Idiot” too. Because, growing up, they were all Green Day fans, and doing this musical was most definitely a labor of love.
“I always loved their music. I remember loving the song ’She,’ and we [all] talk about the song ’Basket Case,’ ” said Rebecca Naomi Jones, who plays Whatsername. “Those old songs are just so good … the driving beats and awesome bass lines and Billie Joe’s voice. And some of the American Idiot songs are just out of this world.”
“It blew my mind when I first heard their music. … I can still remember the first time I saw the music video for ’Basket Case.’ I didn’t have cable, so I had to go to my cousin’s house to watch it,” added John Gallagher Jr., who plays Johnny. “I was mesmerized, but I was also scared of them. I fell for them, I loved all their records, and then I heard American Idiot, and I was like, ’Wow, these guys have stepped it up.’ And this production is like that album: smart, edgy, daring and loud … but it has so much sensitivity and emotion in it. I have been pinching myself through this entire process, and I can’t see myself stopping anytime soon.”
Will you make your way to NYC to see “American Idiot” on Broadway? Let us know in the comments!