Monday, March 7, 2011

theatre review, AMERICAN IDIOT, Broadway - Feb. 3, 2011

We saw American Idiot last year.  It was an interesting musical, but we thought it was lacking in some areas.  We, however, both agreed that it might be one of those shows that you need to see a second time in order to grasp what the creators are trying to do -as well as to understand the lyrics better.   The first time we saw this we were in the mezzanine, the second time we were in the orchestra - and I have to say that the sound mix was much better downstairs - could make out all of the lyrics, well, all except for the ones where the ensemble is screaming them and they become just a lot of mush.

I'm not a huge Green Day fan - like the songs that have become hits, but don't own any Green Day cds, so it was very interesting when we saw this the first time to realize just how many of the songs I was familiar with already -and how many that I had never heard before have now become favorites of mine.  There were so many things that I caught the second time that I missed the first, so I was glad for a second visit.  The show is a very theatrical one, with a lot of great moments.  The set is a basic one- a staircase at the back,a couch and some scaffolding that is turned into various objects.  So, at first you'd think this wasn't going to be that elaborate of a show- but the use of projections, choreography and light really turn this into something that you'll be glad you experienced.  I know this show hasn't exactly been a big hit, except for the weeks when Billy Joe Armstrong has played the part of "St. Jimmy" and I think why that is is that this show might be turning off a lot of traditional theatre goers, since they think this is another loud rock show - but I urge anyone who hasn't gone yet to go and experience it yourself.

The other reason we decided to return was because for one week only Melissa Etheridge would be performing the part of "St Jimmy" - the main character's "bad side" that pretty much sends him down the wrong path until he realizes too late how far he's gone and why he needs to journey back to a better place.   Melissa rocked the house-and had a huge fan base in the audience the night we went.  Wouldn't be surprised if they asked her to come back.

Also, Van Hughes was on for "Johnny" the night we went- he also was on the first time we went.  Johnny is the main character, and I was bummed to not have gotten to see John Gallagher, Jr in the part either time- as he won the Tony for Spring Awakening, but Van is great in the part.  Nice to see that they officially offered him the lead now that some of the cast has changed.   Above right is a pic of Melissa and Van.

Here is a really cool link...
This takes you to a page on the show's website where you can listen to and download the curtain call from any performance.  The curtain call includes a shortened performance of "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" that is not on the cast recording- so you'll need this to get an actual complete recording of the songs in the show.  If you pick any date from Feb 1-6  you'll get to hear Melissa singing part of the song - or pick most any other date in January and February and you'll hear Billy Joe Armstrong sing part of the song during one of the shows where he played "St. Jimmy".   This is a really cool addition to their site -and the strange thing is that it is pretty much hidden and hard to find from the main page of their site.  Enjoy!

Here is a great clip of the three male leads singing "Wake Me Up When September Ends" ...

Click on topic title above to go to the show's official website.

Amazon link for the double cd cast recording...The Original Broadway Cast Recording "American Idiot" Featuring Green Day (2CD)

No comments:

Post a Comment