American Idiot on Broadway

When I first heard that the rock band Green Day was putting together a Broadway musical, based almost entirely on their album “American Idiot” from 2004, I’ll admit that I was skeptical. It wasn’t until I started hearing from friends who’d seen the rock musical that I became cautiously intrigued.

Having now seen the show first-hand, I can say that both my skepticism and my excitement were warranted. It was both awful and terrific, depending on what you’re looking for.

As a Broadway play, even a musical, American Idiot is a complete failure. There’s a story buried in there somewhere, in theory, but I couldn’t pick it out to save my life. And I even read the Wikipedia summary awhile back to get a preview of the story — still, I was completely unable to follow it during the 90-minute single act.

Having said that, I’ll quickly follow that criticism with glowing praise. American Idiot is the most fun I’ve had in a Broadway theatre in quite awhile. The music is beautifully played, and the actors are entertaining and dazzling. I may not really have been able to string together the scenes into an effective storyline, but I don’t care; it was mesmerizing to watch each scene unfold.

The choreography was [usually] great to watch as well. There were a couple of scenes where choreography seemed far too much like classic “Broadway musical” and not enough “alt-punk rocker” but those are forgivable. All in all, the dancing conveyed the frantic energy that you’d expect to see from a Green Day musical, and certainly helped fuel my near-constant head bobbing and knee drumming.

Essentially, American Idiot is a non-stop hour-and-half-long music video. It’s fun, flashy, and completely infectious. It’s a lot of fun, and definitely worth your time and money if you’re a fan of the music. (I wouldn’t necessarily recommend paying top dollar for amazing seats, though; I sat in the nose-bleed section of the balcony at the St. James Theatre and still had a fantastic time.)

Green Day fans, go see this show and shut your brain off for awhile. American Idiot probably won’t change your life, but it’ll absolutely make your day.

One Response to American Idiot on Broadway

  1. […] January started off with a visit to New York (for the annual MLK, Jr. weekend trip) to see SPIDER-MAN: Turn Off the Dark, Driving Miss Daisy, and American Idiot […]

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