Music by multi Grammy Award-Winning band Green Day
Lyrics by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong
Book by Billie Joe Armstrong & Micheal Mayer
Directed by Tony Award Winner Michael Mayer
Preview Performances Begin March 24, 2010
Opening Night is April, 20, 2010 at the St. James Theatre
Producers Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman announced today that following the record–breaking and critically acclaimed engagement at Berkeley Rep, the production will begin previews on Wednesday, March 24, 2010 and open on Broadway Tuesday, April 20, 2010 at the St. James Theatre (246 West 44 Street). The Broadway cast will be announced shortly.
Based on the Reprise Records Grammy® Award-winning album of the same name, American Idiot features the music of Green Day and the lyrics of its lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong. The show is directed by Tony Award–winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening), who also collaborated with Armstrong on the book, and choreographed by Olivier Award–winning Steven Hoggett (Blackwatch). The Tony–winning composer Tom Kitt (Next to Normal) is the music supervisor, orchestrator and music arranger. In addition, Kitt also provided string arrangements for Green Day’s latest album 21st Century Breakdown.
“Experiencing American Idiot on stage in Berkeley was incredible,” says Billie Joe Armstrong. “We have really enjoyed working with Michael, Steven, Tom and the cast. The energy and chemistry of the group is contagious. Michael Mayer was able to bring life to the characters of American Idiot and Tom Kitt’s musical arrangements are breathtaking. We’re so proud that the show is coming to Broadway!”
Michael Mayer comments, “Green Day’s iconic album is one of the most brutally honest, eloquent, and poetically theatrical responses to the post 9/11 world that I have encountered. I hear in these amazing songs the frustration and anger and dreams of a lost generation of Americans. Collaborating with Billie Joe and the band has been a mind–blowing thrill from day one.”
American Idiot follows working–class characters from the suburbs to the city to the Middle East, as they seek redemption in a world filled with frustration — an exhilarating journey borne along by Green Day’s electrifying songs. This high–octane show includes every song from the album, as well as several new songs from 21st Century Breakdown. Green Day won two Grammys® — Best Rock Album and Record of the Year — for its multi–platinum American Idiot, which sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. Now the band brings this explosive album to the stage with the director of Spring Awakening, which won eight Tony Awards in 2007.
The cast of American Idiot collaborated with Green Day to record a new version of the hit single “21 Guns.” Produced by the band’s singer and guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, the track was released by Reprise Records on December 22, 2009 for purchase through all digital retailers. “21 Guns” is the second single from Green Day’s gold album 21st Century Breakdown. The digital version of the track has gone platinum, selling more than one million downloads, earned 2010 Grammy® Nominations for “Best Rock Performance By A Duo Or Group With Vocals” and “Best Rock Song”, while the video won three 2009 MTV Video Music Awards in September, including “Best Rock Video.”
The limited engagement of American Idiot at Berkeley Rep’s Roda Theatre began previews on September 4, 2009, opened on September 16, 2009, extended twice and played its final performance on Sunday, November 15, 2009. AMERICAN IDIOT’s record breaking run brought in the biggest advance sale in the Theatre’s 41–year history, the biggest day at the box office, 17 of the top 20 days ever and due to ticket demand had to announce the first extension before it had played its first performance.
“American Idiot is that rare and tricky creature, a true rock opera,” says Charles Isherwood of The New York Times. “Directed with polish and precision by Michael Mayer, American Idiot has its own voice: bitter and melancholy, attuned to an era more doubting than hopeful. Perhaps most strongly — and promisingly? — the show’s story of young men on a confused search for themselves during a time of changing social mores and foreign wars recalls Hair, the musical about the make–love–not–war generation. (Both musicals also do most of their storytelling in song.) Mournful as it is about the prospects of 21st–century Americans, the show possesses a stimulating energy and a vision of wasted youth that holds us in its grip.”
The show features scenic design by Tony–nominee Christine Jones (Spring Awakening), costume design by Baryshnikov fellow Andrea Lauer (The Butcher of Baraboo), lighting design by two–time Tony–winner Kevin Adams (Hair), Sound design by Obie Award–winner Brian Ronan (Cabaret), as well as video design by Darrel Maloney.
American Idiot will be produced on Broadway in association with Berkeley Repertory Theatre.