Following its critical and audience acclaim in its Australian premiere season in Brisbane earlier this year, Green Day’s high-octane, multi-Helpmann Award nominated rock musical, American Idiot is getting ready to take Australia by storm, when it opens at the Sydney Opera House in January.
American Idiot tells the story of three lifelong friends who are grappling with the decision to either challenge the status quo and break out of their aimless rut or to remain in the safe confines of their urban existence. Their quest for true meaning in a world full of violence and dissolution leads them on a journey of self-discovery, heartache and revelation. Green Day’s explosive Broadway musical channels the grungy spirit of punk while also plucking at the heartstrings – discover what all the noise is about!
Joining Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson in the shared role of St Jimmy are two of Australia’s most-loved rock front women, multi-ARIA Award winner, singer/songwriter and guitarist Sarah McLeod from The Superjesus and nationally-acclaimed singer/songwriter and guitarist Adalita from Magic Dirt.
Rounding out the exceptional cast is Linden Furnell as Johnny, Phoebe Panaretos as Whatsername, Connor Crawford as Tunny, Kaylah Attard as Extraordinary Girl, Alex Jeans as Will and Ashleigh Taylor as Heather with Erin Clare, Christopher Scalzo, Nicholas Kyriacou, Kyla Bartholomeusz, Maxwell Simon, Vidya Makan, Phoenix Mendoza and Kuki Tipoki.
Winner of two Tony Awards and the 2010 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album, American Idiot features every song from Green Day’s iconic album of the same name, as well as several songs from their follow up release, 21st Century Breakdown. This album not only defined Green Day as a band but also gave a voice to a generation waiting for the opportunity to let their hair down and embrace their youth and individuality.
Developed by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong (lyrics) and Tony Award winner Michael Mayer (Book and lyrics), American Idiot boldly took the American musical in a new direction, capturing not just the sound of a generation, but also the frustrations, fears, dreams and challenges of life in the media- saturated, post 9/11 era.
Presented by shake & stir theatre co and QPAC, the Australian production of American Idiot is directed by Craig Ilott (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Smoke & Mirrors), with choreography by Lucas Newland, music direction by Glenn Moorhouse and Nik Pringadi, lighting design by Matthew Marshall, video design by optikal bloc, set design by Josh McIntosh, and costume design by Melaine Knight.
“Green Day’s blisteringly hot, and surprisingly moving punk rock score aside, there are so many reasons why audiences, some first time theatre-goers, are going to love American Idiot,” shake & stir theatre co’s Executive Producer, Nick Skubij. “It is utterly contemporary, disarmingly relevant and features some of the country’s most loved rock and roll and music theatre performers.”
“One of the refreshing things about American Idiot is that while it is certainly Musical Theatre, it challenges the traditional rules in both form and execution and we have extended this to our casting,” adds Skubij. “It is going to be wild.”
American Idiot plays the Concert Hall – Sydney Opera House from 11 January, before heading to Her Majesty’s Theatre, Adelaide from 19 January; Crown Theatre Perth from 2 February; Comedy Theatre, Melbourne from 23 February; Playhouse – QPAC, Brisbane from 13 April; and Darwin Entertainment Centre from 3 May 2018. For more information, visit: www.americanidiotlive.com.au for details.
Image: Phil Jamieson in the original Australian production of American Idiot – photo by Dylan Evans