I just got back from New York where I spent the time in meetings. Except that is, for Tuesday evening when I snuck away (along with my friend/one of my editors, Paige) to see American Idiot (the musical based on the political punk album of the same name) on Broadway. I'd been hearing tidbits about the production (originally in Berkley, CA) from my friend Adrienne who's husband is at the Green Day helm, so I was thrilled when I found out there were tickets available for the one free night I had during a whirlwind trip.
Me & Paige in front of the AI Sign on Broadway
Anyone who's ever followed any project I've ever worked on knows how utterly into music I am but perhaps I should pause here to say that I'm also, a total theater geek. I've gobbled up the story of The Chorus Line at least a hundred times since I was a kid; I grew up going to L.A. productions of CATS, Phantom of the Opera and tributes to Bob Fosse; my (minimal) singing talent and (average) dance ability gave me one of my favorite memories from high school, being a Hot Box girl in West Torrance High's production of Guys & Dolls; years ago during my very 1st trip to NY I dragged my best friend to the original Studio 54 to see Cabaret one night and then Gypsy (starring Ms. Bernadette Peters) then next. But I digress.
Anyway, here's what I've learned about Adrienne over the past few years: along with being extraordinarily kind and giving, she's also extremely modest and not at all self-promotional. Her quiet words of pride over the conception of the AI musical were not enough to prepare me for the level of (for lack of a better term) "awesome" contained within 90 minutes of rock opera. I left the theater wanting to write a song, write a manifesto, and write my congressman. It was that good.
If you'll be in NY anytime soon, go see the show with its original cast--John Gallagher, Jr., Tony Vincent, Stark Sands, Michael Esper, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Christina Sajous, Mary Faber and the entire ensemble. You won't be sorry. If you won't be though, not to worry. I'd be willing to bet this show isn't going anywhere, any time soon--well, except (hopefully) in the form of a touring troop. Just as Hair remains relevant today, American Idiot's message will also speak to generations to come.