American Idiot on Broadway
My coworkers and I were very lucky to score free tickets to a matinee yesterday of American Idiot, the musical by punk-pop band Green Day. It was very fun and brought back memories of high school, when Dookie was one of my favorite albums.
The theme of the show was a common one: being a young suburban American is a boring and desperate condition that often drives people to self destruction. Certainly a theme that resonated with me in the 90s when I was a bored teenager in Montgomery Alabama, listening to Green Day and Alanis Morrisette and watching movies like Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused and Suburbia. A little hard to get behind those ideas these days though.
I don’t see a lot of Broadway shows. They’re expensive. Most of the shows I’ve gone to have been due to the kindness of visiting family. So of the few musicals I’ve seen, American Idiot seemed a bit short on story and heavy on music. It was a really wonderful rock opera-like concert, with amazing set work, performances, choreography, and a loose framework of a story. And of course, the catchy Green Day tunes. If you have an aversion to Green Day I highly doubt you’ll enjoy this show.
We were lucky enough to catch one of the performances that Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong makes it to. And honestly I really couldn’t see the point of his character if he’s not playing it. It was fun to see him perform, especially since he’s this skinny rocker dude amidst these buff musical theater pros.
Another reason this brought back memories of high school? The tickets came courtesy of the show’s producer, Tom Hulce, who wanted to do something nice for our boss’s birthday by giving his employees great seats at this show. Tom Hulce played the lead in my favorite movie I haven’t seen 15 years: Amadeus, and voiced Quasimodo in one of my fave 90’s Disney movies, The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Thank you for the tickets, Mr. Hulce! :)