Scott J. Campbell (Tunny), Van Hughes (Johnny) and Jake Epstein (Will) in AMERICAN IDIOT (Photo by Doug Hamilton)
My son and I are fans of musical theater and the two of us have travelled to New York several times to see many of the fabulous shows on Broadway including “Rent,” “Aida,” “Chicago,” as well as the sadly terrible preview of “The Frogs.” We also worked as volunteer ushers here in Seattle at our beautiful Paramount Theatre so we were able to see many touring shows as well.
We like an eclectic bunch of shows – some of my favorites include Disney’s sweet and sugary “Mary Poppins” (I shared my backstage tour and show review my sister site), the dark and yet touching, “Wicked” which I enjoyed with the amazing original cast including Idina Menzel who will be performing here in Seattle on June 2nd (her charming and handsome husband arrived after the Broadway show to collect her and he was toting her handbag – they were adorable together); and the morbidly, off-kilter, and thoroughly enjoyable black-comedy “Assassins” with Neil Patrick Harris (who couldn’t have been kinder when taking photos with us) in the lead role. Perhaps that’s the beauty of musical theatre – there’s something for every person, age, and interest.
American Idiot was one of the shows I’d hope to get back to NYC to see but sadly, they’ve closed the Broadway show. Thankfully, they’ve brought the show out on tour and it’s about to make its Seattle premier as part of KeyBank Broadway at the Paramount series. American Idiot features some of my favorite music from the punk band Green Day with lyrics by its dark and brooding lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong. It’s the story of three lifelong friends who have been searching for meaning after the tragic events of 9-11.
Gabrielle McClinton (Whatshername) and Van Hughes (Johnny) in AMERICAN IDIOT (Photo by Doug Hamilton)
I don’t know much more about the show other than the book is by Billy Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer and it’s directed by Mayer (Spring Awakening). Rather than spoil the surprise and read more about it, I’m going to go and just experience it from start to finish. With amazing music from Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning 2004 album which includes “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “21 Guns,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “Holiday,” and “American Idiot;” plus several songs from “21st Century Breakdown,” and an unreleased love song, “When It’s Time,” I expect to love every moment.
“Since its inception, audiences have been surprised by the emotional journey the show takes them on, told almost exclusively through Green Day’s songs, including many they are already familiar with and love,” said Tom Hulce, producer. “This is such a potent time for our country and the search of our characters for what to believe in is gorgeously celebrated through Billie Joe and Green Day’s wonderfully lush score,” he added.
But I’m sure you’re wondering if you have to be a Green Day or punk rock fan to really enjoy the show? Likely not; great theater is great theater and I’m far from the typical Green Day fan. I’m 50-years old and I have to wonder what Billie Joe Armstrong would say to find out he’s got fans as old as me (I’m old enough to be his mother!). I’m not typically a punk rock fan either; in fact, I can’t think of another band’s music that I connect with so much as this one. To me Billie Joe Armstrong is the Elton John of my son’s generation. A musician who will still be relevant in 20 years and will have grown and changed with age and his music will reflect that. Elton toned down the glasses and boas and I have to think Billy Joe will forgo or lighten the eye liner as well!
Van Hughes (Johnny), Joshua Kobak (St. Jimmy) and the company of AMERICAN IDIOT (Photo by Doug Hamilton)
I’ll be attending opening night with my son but there are other shows available. Tickets start at $25 and are on sale online at stgpresents.org, tickets.com, and select Ticketmaster locations. You may also purchase tickets by calling 877-STG-4TIX (784-4849) or purchase them in person at The Paramount Theatre Box Office (Monday through Friday, 10am to 6pm).
AMERICAN IDIOT will be at Seattle’s Paramount Theatre for 8 performances – the Seattle engagement schedule is as follows:
|June 5 (Tuesday)
||June 9 (Saturday)
|June 6 (Wednesday)
||June 9 (Saturday)
|June 7 (Thursday)
||June 10 (Sunday)
|June 8 (Friday)
||June 10 (Sunday)
||6:30 pm *
* An Open Caption performance – for tickets to these performances, call their TTY line at 888-331-6774.
Special Ticket info: Pit seats will be available 2-hours prior to curtain for $28 each (cash only). Once sold out, a limited number of Student Rush seats will be sold for $28 each (cash only).
VIZIO is the official TV partner of the AMERICAN IDIOT tour.
For more information on AMERICAN IDIOT, visit www.americanidiotthemusical.com. For more information on the theatre or the series visit stgpresents.org. You can also connect with the Seattle Theatre Group through social media! Facebook • Twitter • Google + • YouTube
Scott J. Campbell (Tunny) and Nicci Claspell (The Extraordinary Girl) in AMERICAN IDIOT (Photo by Doug Hamilton)