“American Idiot” the BROADWAY show

photo of American Idiot poster

American Idiot Broadway
posterhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Idiot_%28musical%29

Although this is not a TV show it is a Broadway show that I saw over the weekend.
On Friday March 7th, “American Idiot” came to the Haas Center as part of the 175th Anniversary celebration here at Bloomsburg University. “American Idiot” the musical of course is based on the Green Day concept album of the same name that is now ten years old. The show itself is composed of songs from the entire “American Idiot” album and several songs from Green Day’s 2009 album “21st Century Breakdown”, most notably “21 guns” sung by Olivia Puckett, Taylor Jones, Mariah MacFarlane and many others. This show could easily remind audiences of the 1996 Broadway musical “Rent” by Jonathon Larson. “American Idiot” follows the story of Johnny aka “Jesus of Suburbia”, a young down on his luck teenager who along with two of his friends feels fed up with their lives in Suburbia. Eventually, the three of them buy bus tickets to the city. However, only Tunny and Johnny make the trip, because Will finds out he has gotten his girlfriend pregnant and has no other choice but to stay home. The show is sort of hard to follow in the moment because there is very little exposition aside from a few monologues that Johnny gives while writing letters to his family back home. Where the show really stands out is in its set design, choreography and lighting. The best example is during a holiday when Johnny and Tunny are traveling to the city on a bus with other fore lone youths. Obviously they couldn’t bring a full bus on the Haas Center stage, so what they did instead was bring their scaffolding that was standing upright, toward the ceiling and tilted it sideways so that the top end was pointing towards the audience. After that they projected a fast moving countryside onto the slightly transparent screen behind them, so it looked like they were moving rather fast. This was an efficient and creative use of limited space that was excellently done several times throughout the show to create a sense of depth and different environments for the cast to play around in. Along with “21 guns” another song worth mentioning is “Wake me up when September ends” that almost mirrors the original music video for the song that was released for this song in 2005. There are several people I spoke to at the show, but one stood out to me. Cassidy Sherman, a senior Mass Communication Major, said “I love musicals and I love Green Day so I’ve wanted to see this since it came out in 2009”. There are a number of people on this campus who did not go to the show because they feel like Green Day has sold out in comparison to their more punk beginnings in the early 90s to early otts. The end of “American Idiot” was basically Green Day saying we all have to grow up and make choices in our lives that aren’t fun because we can’t be kids forever. If you take the show as basically an evolution of Green Day both as musicians and as people, you will gain a new respect for both of them. It was a good choice on the University’s part to bring in “American Idiot”

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Posted in Music Reviews, other reviews, TV

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