Jared Nepute wasn't always so political. But when the 24-year-old actor joined the touring company of"American Idiot," he started to see the world a little differently.
"I didn't think I was a mindless drone," Nepute said. Spending his childhood in a safe suburban neighborhood, he never really concerned himself with the world around him. "American Idiot," the 2009 Tony Award-winning Broadway musical based on Green Day's 2004 Grammy-winning album, showed him the light.
The show, coming to Keller Auditorium Nov. 12 to 17, follows the story of a young suburban man, Johnny (Nepute), in search of a more fulfilling life. He initially plans to move to the city with his friends Will (Casey O'Farrell) and Tunny (Dan Tracy), but loses his companions to fatherhood and the Army, respectively.
Young Johnny quickly acclimates to urban life thanks to new friends St. Jimmy (Daniel C. Jackson) and the ambiguously named Whatshername (Olivia Puckett). His new friends quickly lead him down a dangerous road toward that timeless trifecta: sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.
But the story isn't a cautionary tale against the allure of the urban jungle. Behind the flash of the rock musical throbs a curt, but fervent message: Wake up.
"People need to think for themselves and ask questions," said Tom Kitt, music supervisor and orchestrator of the musical. "The things Green Day is singing about are things people feel passionate about."
Kitt, a 2010 Pulitzer Prize winner for his musical drama "Next to Normal," retained that passion from the album in the musical. He preserved the songs that made "American Idiot" a hit -- "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," "Wake Me Up When September Ends," "American Idiot" -- while adding original material that made the musical version a standout in its own right.
Full review at Oregon Live: HERE