Fiercely Energetic…Emotionally Raw…Perfectly Executed – Rockin’ Mama
Last week, the Ahmanson Theatre debuted Green Day’s American Idiot, a one-act musical sans dialogue, adapted from the rock band’s concept album by the same name. The musical, which received a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical, is a fast-paced emotional journey through a time in American history that can only be described as uncertain.
As the musical opens, the audience is introduced to Johnny, Tunny, and Will…three childhood friends in search of meaning post 9-11. They’re young and anxious to leave the constraints of their suburban lives…to test out their freedom despite the consequences. As fate would have it, Will learns that his girlfriend is pregnant and begrudgingly chooses to stay behind while Johnny and Tunny set out to “find themselves.”
Each of their journeys is complicated and wrought with pain…physical, emotional, and relational. Their individual stories, told exclusively through the lyric’s of Green Day’s music, are weighty and at times, unglamorous. We watch and come to understand why some like Tunny enlist in the Army and others turn to drugs…each struggling to feel something…to discover their self-worth. The musical touches on love and loss, addiction and recovery, despair and hope and offers some redemption (although definitely not what you might expect) at the end.
To take an album and turn it into a Broadway-ready musical is nothing short of brilliant. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the band and their music, you’ll likely find yourself relating in some way to one of the characters…even if it’s simply reflecting on that time in your life when you struggled to find meaning. Despite the fact that American Idiot breaks tradition, it’s the music that is foundational to the production…the lyrics that evoke the kind of emotion that captivates and draws you in…the rhythm that will have you engaged until the closing act.
The theatre is also running a daily lottery where theatergoers can enter to purchase tickets for $30 (seats are located in the first two rows of the orchestra section). Those who don’t win the daily lottery will be included in a second chance “loser’s lottery” for complimentary tickets to the final Saturday night performance on April 21st at 8 pm.
For more information or to purchase tickets, just visit the website.
No compensation was received for this post. I was invited to opening night and provided media tickets.