« Two Broadway Shows, One Opening Night | Main | Casting News -- March 31, 2009 »

'American Idiot' Musical Coming to the Stage

Green Day_American Idiot A stage musical based on pop-punk/rock band Green Day's hit 2004 album American Idiot will premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California this fall, the band announced yesterday. Green Day will collaborate will Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening) to adapt their Grammy-winning album for the stage.

The show will include all 12 songs from the post-9/11 concept album, as well as several new songs from Green Day's upcoming album 21st Century Breakdown.

Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said in a statement:

"We are really excited to be working with Michael Mayer on this project. We'd been thinking of bringing American Idiot to the stage, but knew we needed to find the right partners. After meeting with Michael to discuss the possibility, he invited us to see Spring Awakening. We were so impressed with that production, as well as his vision for American Idiot, that we knew we'd found the perfect collaborator. Plus, doing it in our hometown at Berkeley Rep was an obvious bonus. They're an amazing theatre group, very adventurous, and their willingness to take chances is in keeping with the spirit of the album."

Playbill notes that debuting the new musical at Berkeley makes sense, since Green Day formed in the area in 1990. Singer-guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, who conceived the punk-opera album and wrote most of the lyrics, provides lyrics for the musical and will co-write the book with Mayer. Music will be by Green Day, but the band will not appear in the musical.

Mayer said in a statement:

"When I first heard American Idiot, I was struck by its innate theatricality. Here was a new musical drama begging to be staged. Who would have thought that one of the most brutally honest, eloquent, passionate, funny, and poetic theatrical responses to the post 9-11 world would be a Green Day record? The connection I felt to American Idiot surprised me. I knew and liked Green Day, but had no clue that I would ever feel so inside their songs. This work of passion and vision and fierce intelligence seemed to me like the heartbeat of a generation of Americans who were fed up. I hear in these amazing songs the articulation of their frustration, anger, longing for a better world — a journey from apathy to action."

Green Day_live in Hollywood

American Idiot will be performed by a cast of 19, with an onstage band. Want to be a part of it? Check out this week's issue of Back Stage (on newsstands April 2) or visit BackStage.com to view the casting notice online.

From the Back Stage casting notice for an upcoming NYC chorus call for American Idiot:

Jim Carnahan & Carrie Gardner (casting dirs.) are casting American Idiot. Green Day, music; Billie Joe Armstrong, words; Billie Joe Armstrong & Michael Mayer, book; Michael Mayer, dir.; Steven Hoggett, choreo.; Tom Kitt, music super.; Carmel Dean, music dir. Rehearsals begin July 13; runs Sept. 4-Oct. 11 at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in Berkeley, CA.

Seeking—Dancers: male and female, early-late 20s, all ethnicities, to play various characters; Singers: male and female, early-late 20s, all ethnicities, rock singers to play various characters.

American Idiot will run Sept. 4-Oct. 11, opening Berkeley Rep's 2009-10 season; an eventual Broadway transfer is anticipated. (On a related note, pop songwriter Matthew Sweet's album Girlfriend is also planned as a Berkeley Rep musical for 2009-10.)

-- Daniel Lehman

Dig This


TrackBack URL for this entry:

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 'American Idiot' Musical Coming to the Stage:


The comments to this entry are closed.