A Night at the Theatre: Green Day’s American Idiot-the Musical

American Idiot the Musical

Green Day’s “American Idiot” (featuring l-r: Dan Tracy, Jared Neptune and Colin O’Farrell) blazed into Kansas City and rocked the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts. (Photo property of Jeremy Daniel)

By: Jacob Elyachar, jakes-take.com

This September will mark the 10th anniversary of Green Day’s American Idiot.

Green Day’s seventh studio album was a rock opera that focused on the character: “Jesus of Suburbia.”

After capturing a plethora of awards including a Grammy, American Music Award and a BRIT Award, the band expanded on the album and transformed it into a Broadway musical.

Last night, I had the pleasure of seeing the current touring cast of Green Day’s American Idiot: the Musical at the Kauffman Center for Performing Arts and I was blown away!

The show followed the journeys of three different guys.  Johnny (Jared Neptune), the main character, successfully escapes from suburbia but soon falls victim to the menacing drug dealer St. Jimmy (Andrew Humann).  One of his best friends, Tunny (Dan Tracy), originally accompanies him on his escape but falls in love with serving in the Military.  Their other best friend, Will (Casey O’Farrell), was supposed to accompany them but stayed behind due to Heather (Mariah MacFarlane)’s pregnancy.

American Idiot: the Musical is one of the most intense theatrical productions I have ever seen.  One of the reasons for its intensity is Steven Hoggart’s powerful choreography. This was some of the most aggressive movements I have seen in a theatrical production. All of the actors were in sync with each other and brilliantly executed the musical numbers.

Speaking of the musical numbers, I caught myself and several others mouthing the words to several of the 21 songs (and 10 sub-songs) that were in the production. Casual Green Day fans would receive chills when the cast performs “Holiday,” “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” and “21 Guns.” Also, the on-stage band gave the production a rock show-like atmosphere.

There were three outstanding performances from the ensemble.  Neptune’s Johnny will polarize audiences because they cannot decide if he is a nice guy that has fallen under dark circumstances or he is an idiotic jerk.  Olivia Puckett was superb as Whatshername and showcased her pipes through”21 Guns” and “Letterbomb.” Finally, Andrew Humann’s sinister and menacing portrayal of the wild St. Jimmy would make both creator Billie Joe Armstrong and original portrayer Tony Vincent very proud.

Final thoughts and grade: Green Day’s American Idiot: the Musical is a wild production that would transport audiences on an intense ride! Audiences would enjoy seeing incredible vocals, impeccable choreography and a strong live band that will make this show one that they will never forget.  A

Green Day’s American Idiot: the Musical was part of the Theater League’s 2013-14 Kansas City Broadway Series. To learn more about the Theater League, click here: http://theaterleague.com/kansascity/

For more information about the American Idiot tour, click here: http://www.americanidiotthemusical.com/

 

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Copyright 2015 Jacob Elyachar