AMERICAN IDIOT, Green Day's explosive, award-winning Broadway rock musical, opened their UK Tour at the legendary HMV Hammersmith Apollo from December 4 - 16.
The story of three boyhood friends, each searching for meaning in a post 9-11 world, AMERICAN IDIOT, will open at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre (October 8 - 13) then tour to Cardiff’s Millennium Centre (October 15 - 20); Edinburgh Playhouse (October 22 - 27); Glasgow Clyde Auditorium (October 29 - November 3); Dublin Bord Gáis Energy (November 5 - 10); Manchester Palace Theatre (November 12 - 24); Birmingham Alexandra?Theatre (November 26 - December 1); and then a two-week London season at HMV Hammersmith Apollo (December 4 - 16).
Alex Nee stars as Johnny, along with Thomas Hettrick as Tunny, Casey O’Farrell as Will, Alyssa DiPalma as Whatsername, Jenna Rubaii as The Extraordinary Girl, Kennedy Caughell as Heather and Trent Saunders as St. Jimmy.
AMERICAN IDIOT also features ensemble members Aurie Ceylon, Carson Higgins, Antwaun Holley, Daniel C. Jackson, Brandon Kalm, John Krause, Alison Morooney, Turner Rouse, Jr., Jamal Shuriah, Dustin Harris Smith, Ashley Tobias, Chelsea Turbin and Jared Young.
Let's see what the critics had to say:
BWW's own Kevin Sherwin says: The busy, never settled stage is a mélange of metal railings, stairs and television screens, and the excellent young cast spend a great deal of time climbing and then hanging off anything that's within grabbing distance. These antics are in equal parts exhausting and exhilarating to watch, and the company's total commitment is a pleasure to behold.
Theo Bosanquet from whatsonstage.com has this to say: The songs, from Green Day's bestselling 2004 studio album, reflect the mood rather than motor the narrative. Highlights include the opening blast of the title song, with a multitude of monitors - including one suspended in a shopping trolley - relaying news footage from the time and reminding us of the media-saturation that defines these kids. "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", performed acoustically (the cast all prove handy with a guitar), could hardly seem more apposite while the military sequence that accompanies "Give Me Novacaine" is electrifying - due in no small part to the fact the choreographer is Black Watch's Steven Hoggett.
Nick Hasted of The Independent writes: The sheer volume of the stage band’s music and the frenetic rush of action provide constant energy. But tunes recalling the 1950s pastiche of The Rocky Horror Picture Show or, during “We’re Coming Home Again”, the Phil Spectoresque Springsteen of Born to Run, have few punk credentials.
The London Evening Standard says: The minimal dialogue is punctuated by songs from the album, brought to life by an onstage band and a cast of brilliant singers. One of the best was Trent Saunders, who plays Johnny’s drug-addled alter-ego, St Jimmy. Occasionally, Armstrong has played the role himself but Saunders’s tremendous turn on Know Your Enemy meant the Green Day man wasn’t missed.