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  1. #1
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    American Idiot - the play

    I've been dying to see American Idiot since it first opened on Broadway. Last night I finally got the chance to see it, as the first stop for the first touring company, and all I can say is WOW! It was worth the wait.

    I love the original album and I love the Broadway soundtrack, so I knew the music would be killer, but would the story hold up on stage? The answer is an unequivocal YES. In fact, brining the music to stage brings life to it and fills in the storyline much more than the album, probably, ever intended.

    When the play first started I was a bit unsure. I thought that I might walk away disappointed, but as the story progressed I was drawn in, even shedding a tear or two. The characters start off a bit goofy but then progress into, I thought, totally believable troubled youth. It's a story of three friends bored with suburban life and looking for excitement and meaning in their post 9/11 world. 9/11 doesn’t play a key role in the story but there are subtle references to it. There was one staging technique where the lighting created the illustion of paper flying through the air. It reminded me so much of those TV images after the towers fell. I don't want to say more than that because I don't want to give away too much.

    I thought that the original album was a 21st century masterpiece and now I think the play is the same. Hubby and I see a lot of theatre and this really is, IMO, the first great play of this century. We live in a new political age and while the story could easily be transposed to just about any post WWII timeframe, the music is uniquely current. This play has guts and energy. If tickets weren't so damn expensive I'd see it again before it leaves town.

    In addition to the play, much of my entertainment came from listening to the people around me talk about Green Day. I would say that I heard comments from more people who were not very familiar with Green Day and had never heard the album than those who were fans. However, that might also have had to do with the price range where we were sitting.

    My favourite conversation however was one that I heard between two women walking behind us as we were leaving the theatre.

    Woman 1: This was very political. This must have been, like, Green Day’s political statement or something.

    Woman 2: Oh yes, the album is political, that’s the story of it. This was Green Day’s big relaunch album (wtf is a “relaunch” album?). American Idiot really relaunched their career.

    Then she continued on for several more minutes about the big relaunch. I wanted to turn and ask her where she thought GD had been that they need to be relaunched? But I thought better of it and kept my mouth shut. Sure it had been four years between Warning and American Idiot, but just look at how they spent those four years; creating a fucking masterpiece!

  2. #2
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    I'm not reading your post. Don't want any spoilers!

    (See you and hubs tomorrow...)
    Mr. MidFi
    Master of the Obvious

  3. #3
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Sorry. I should have waited until Sunday to post...I wasn't thinking.

  4. #4
    Rocket Surgeon Swish's Avatar
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    I thought this thread was about Finchy.

    Now that I see it's about some stoopid play, I'm not interested.
    I call my bathroom Jim instead of John so I can tell people that I go to the Jim first thing every morning.

    If you say the word 'gullible' very slowly it sounds just like oranges.

  5. #5
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    A friend of ours was in the show when it opened on Broadway and we wanted to see it because he was in it. It's fun when the usher comes and gets you and takes you back stage. He advised us not to come unless you're a Green Day fan. He said that he couldn't wait till his run in the show was over. He said that eight shows a week with the same music over and over again wears on you terribly. He plays in a band, besides being an actor, but it's more folk rock. I guess we'll wait for his next show.
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  6. #6
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack in Wilmington View Post
    He said that eight shows a week with the same music over and over again wears on you terribly. He plays in a band,
    So does his band play different music every show?

    I think that would be true of any musical. I don't know how some bands can go on tour and play the same song every show for 25 years. Tell me that Mick Jagger hasn't reached the point where singing Satisfaction makes him want to put a bullet in his head.

  7. #7
    Forum Regular Jack in Wilmington's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ForeverAutumn View Post
    So does his band play different music every show?

    I think that would be true of any musical. I don't know how some bands can go on tour and play the same song every show for 25 years. Tell me that Mick Jagger hasn't reached the point where singing Satisfaction makes him want to put a bullet in his head.
    I'm sure that they have a set list that they stick to when they play, but they don't do 8 shows a week for 12 straight weeks. He did say that after a couple weeks he got to skip the Wednesday and Saturday matinees, if he wanted, and let his stand-in do the role. We've been waiting to see him do something on Broadway again, but he's been doing movies and TV lately. He's in a movie with Anna Paquin and Matt Damon that's due for release soon.
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  8. #8
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    OK, now I've seen it too. And my wife and I enjoyed it (and our pre-show dinner companions) quite a bit.

    I did have some complaints about the dramatic narrative that they hammered together to link the musical numbers... it felt a bit muddled and awkward at times. And the lead actor went a tad too far in portraying the titular "idiot" as whiny and immature. BUT... none of that mattered much in the end, since this show is all about the songs. And no doubt, they really worked!

    A really memorable moment came at the second curtain-call, when the entire ensemble (maybe 20 actors, total) came out playing guitars for a rousing rendition of "Good Riddance". Singing "I hope you had the time of your life" is a good way to send an audience out into the chilly Toronto night with a smile.

    Anyway, thanks again to FA and her hubby Peter for sharing a lovely dinner and helping us figure out what to do and where to stay!
    Mr. MidFi
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  9. #9
    Musicaholic Forums Moderator ForeverAutumn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr MidFi View Post
    OK, now I've seen it too. And my wife and I enjoyed it (and our pre-show dinner companions) quite a bit.

    I did have some complaints about the dramatic narrative that they hammered together to link the musical numbers... it felt a bit muddled and awkward at times. And the lead actor went a tad too far in portraying the titular "idiot" as whiny and immature. BUT... none of that mattered much in the end, since this show is all about the songs. And no doubt, they really worked!

    A really memorable moment came at the second curtain-call, when the entire ensemble (maybe 20 actors, total) came out playing guitars for a rousing rendition of "Good Riddance". Singing "I hope you had the time of your life" is a good way to send an audience out into the chilly Toronto night with a smile.

    Anyway, thanks again to FA and her hubby Peter for sharing a lovely dinner and helping us figure out what to do and where to stay!
    Aw, now I'm blushing. It was great to meet you and your wife. We also enjoyed dinner and the company very much and were sorry that you had to run off to catch the show. It would have been nice to sit around and spend a bit more time together...perhaps another time.

    I'm glad that you enjoyed our city (although I can't take any of the credit), we enjoy living here.

    I agree completely with your comments about the show. The lead actor was a bit over the top, which is why at the very start I wasn't sure that I would enjoy it. But it was amazing to me how they could string together a story with such little dialogue...and it all made perfect sense.

    As for Good Riddance, that was a highlight for us also...although not all of them were playing their guitars. A few were quite obviously faking it.

    I'm glad that you enjoyed the show, and your trip. Next time in Chicago...maybe even Lollapalooza.

  10. #10
    Stainmaster Finch Platte's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swish
    I thought this thread was about Finchy.
    Now that I see it's about some stoopid play, I'm not interested.
    Guffaw.

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