American Idiot the musical contains mature themes. If you are under sixteen, don’t watch it.
American Idiot is a musical based off of the album of the same name by Green Day. The musical and album tell the story of a twenty-something boy named Johnny making a journey through the city and finding his place in the world. Johnny is tired of living in the suburbs and sets out for Los Angeles. His friends decide to join him but end up abandoning him along the way. After getting to the the city, Johnny meets the girl of his dreams, referred to as “Whatsername”, and hallucinates a drug-addled persona named Saint Jimmy. Johnny, because he is overcome with addiction, threatens Whatsername with a knife. She leaves and he pursues a career. He gives up on his office job and goes home, resulting in the metaphorical suicide of Saint Jimmy. When he returns home, his friends although initially upset, embrace him (see the Wikipedia Article for a more in depth summary).
There are, of course, many performances of American Idiot: The Musical. For the theatrics portion of this, I will be focusing on the L.A. performance, performed by Glory|Struck. There were a few artistic choices made in this performance. The biggest one I saw was that they had a woman play Saint Jimmy. This change was… Bad. It was bad. Although it could be seen as an interesting look into “Maybe Johnny is a trans woman” (seeing as Saint Jimmy is a reflection of Johnny and how he wishes to be, the life of the party, Etc.). If you were wanting to give that perspective you would need to give more in depth story attributes to that. Saint jimmy in his own song is referred to with masculine pronouns. The choreography for the whole musical was a little sloppy but still amazing.
Now onto the audio design. I would talk about the mismatch between the actors vocal ability and the songs being played, but there’s genuinely only one person who can sing like Billie Joe Armstrong, and that’s Billie Joe Armstrong. In “American Idiot” (the individual song) they had amazing vocals, I loved the chorus with the delayed mirroring effect. I have found a clean version of “American Idiot” being performed by the broadway cast Here. The light work was well done, it did a great job of setting the mood for a lot of scenes.
I have definitely seen worse musicals. This performance was not as good as what I’ve seen from the broadway version, but it was still an amazing experience. I’d love to know what other people think of it!