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Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT, The Musical, comes to LA

Finally!  I saw American Idiot.

Today I went to the Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center in downtown Los Angeles to attend an afternoon performance of American Idiot.  I’ve wanted to see it ever since it was first performed in 2009.  It took a long time to finish it’s run on Broadway and make it’s way to California, but it was worth the wait.

American Idiot tells the story of three lifelong friends, forced to choose between their dreams and the safety and comfort of suburbia in the early 2000s.  Their quest for meaning in a post 9/11 world after leaving Jingletown, leads them on this theatrical journey that includes guitars, drums and an anti-hero named Johnny.  Based on Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning multi-platinum album, American Idiot is an example of a new age rock opera.

I happen to be a huge Green Day fan and American Idiot is my favorite album by them.  Those songs, and some newer ones from 21st Century Breakdown which were also included in the musical, basically make up the “soundtrack” of my high school years.  I had lyrics from “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “Holiday,” and “Jesus of Suburbia” written on one of my guitar cases and even the words “Rage and Love” (a reoccurring motif of the album) on a pair of Vans!  So, you can see what I mean about being a fan.

I feel like part of the reason the musical hasn’t received great reviews is because there are portions that might be hard to follow if you don’t already have some understanding of the story the album tells.  However, I do feel like the actors did a great job of relaying that story to the audience.  There were literally parts where big plot points were communicated solely by the way an actor sang a particular lyric.

For me, hearing and seeing these songs performed on such a huge scale was a surprisingly emotional experience.  I never thought fast paced punk rock could put a lump in my throat until today.

There was also a strange thing I noticed at the performance today.  The audience consisted of, almost entirely, young people (a few of them with mohawks) and senior citizens.  There was an age gap that wasn’t represented.  I thought this was odd because I know Green Day has been around since the early 90s and must have plenty of fans in their 30s and 40s.  Maybe they all went to a different performance.

For show times and tickets, here’s the link to the Center Theatre Group’s official website … Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT !!

Appearing LIVE from March 13–April 22, 2012.
Ahmanson Theatre at the Music Center, Los Angeles CA.
Presented by the Center Theatre Group.
Music by Green Day, lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong.


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