Saturday, March 08, 2014

Green Day's American Idiot musical

We saw Green Day's American Idiot tonight at the Centre in the Square. The Broadway production was nominated and won a bunch of Tony awards a few years ago and since we like Green Day, we figured we wanted to see it.

Of course we knew absolutely nothing about the story or choreography or how the music made the story work or anything but that didn't stop us from going. Now we know that the show tells the story of a year in the life of three slacker/Generation X friends and the consequences of the choices they make during that year. I enjoyed the story because it wasn't a typically feel-good story where everything is wrapped up and great at the end; it was edgy and raw and had a kind of realness to it that you don't often see in musicals. I don't want to give you any more abut the story; if you want to know more, I'm sure you can find it online.

I will tell you that I wouldn't recommend the show to kids as there's simulated sex, simulated marijuana, and simulated heroin use during the show. Next to us was a family with two kids between seven and ten - I'm sure those kids will have lots of questions for their mom and dad when they get home.

The show runs about 80 mins long and runs without an intermission, which I really liked. It meant that the intensity of the show could be maintained throughout the entire performance and they didn't have to take time to get everyone in to it. They rearranged the music a little bit from the original album and reworked it to support multiple vocalists and a chorus but it was recognizably the same (and in some cases, I thought it was better). The choreography was interesting; the dancers were not all great at dancing in an edgy, raw way, which was sort of funny.

We also really liked the set, which was a huge black wall with a number of tv sets attached to it that were used to support whatever was going on. The stage was generally divided into three zones, each with its own lights, and there was also a general light show that was projected onto the wall. There was movable scaffolding, a couch, a mattress, and other items that were used as props.

Overall, we really enjoyed the show. It was a great story, a good use of music, an interesting choreography, and great sets and lights. We definitely recommend this musical if you get a chance to see it.

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