Following its critical and audience acclaim in its Australian premiere season in Brisbane earlier this year, the high-octane rock musical, Green Day’s American Idiot is now set to melt faces and hearts across the country in a national tour in 2018.
The multi-Helpmann Award nominated show will play strictly limited seasons and kick off at the Sydney Opera House from 11 January, before heading to Adelaide Festival Centre’s Her Majesty’s Theatre from 19 January, Crown Theatre Perth from 2 February, Melbourne’s Comedy Theatre from 23 February, returning to the Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) in Brisbane from 13 April.
shake & stir theatre co’s Executive Producer, Nick Skubij is thrilled the show is taking to the road: “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,” said Skubij. “It is utterly contemporary, disarmingly relevant and features some of the country’s most loved rock and roll and music theatre performers.”
Returning to the rebellious and charismatic role of St. Jimmy is Grinspoon’s enigmatic frontman, Phil Jamieson. As the voice and face of Grinspoon, Jamieson fronted one of the most popular Australian bands of the last two decades. “Absolutely stoked to the eyeballs to be reprising the role of St Jimmy for American Idiot in 2018… So many great tunes, such a great time… I can’t wait to bring it to y’all around the country!” says Jamieson.
Internationally, the role of St Jimmy has been played rotationally by rock personalities including: Billie Joe Armstrong, Melissa Etheridge, Chris Cheney and Phil Jamieson and word on the street is to keep your eyes peeled for more exciting Aussie cast announcements.
“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.”
Phoebe Panaretos will reprise her unanimously-praised performance as Whatsername which earned her a 2017 Helpmann Award nominee for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical. Further casting announcements are to be made soon!
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.
It 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!
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.
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; and Playhouse – QPAC, Brisbane from 13 April 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