Check out exclusive behind-the-scenes video from Rolling Stone's recent photo shoot with the American Idiot cast before their big Broadway debut. Look for the spread in the April 29th issue.
April 19, 2010
April 19, 2010
Green Day aren't exactly the kind of guys you'd expect to shed tears over anything, but the first time they watched rehearsals for the Broadway musical version of "American Idiot" — opening Tuesday (April 20) at New York's St. James Theatre — they did just that.
"I was watching the actors, and I catch the eye of one of the singers, and he just gives me a little [thumbs-up] sign, and so that gave me the courage to look over at the band," "Idiot" director Michael Mayer told MTV News. "And there were tears in their eyes. I saw that what we were doing was connecting to them on a heart-and-soul level, and it wasn't about commerce and it wasn't about business. ... All of that went away, and I saw that these are just three wonderful men who made these wonderful songs, [and] we were giving it back to them as this sort of wonderful gift. I was blown away, and I thought, 'OK, there is something here.' "
Of course, we had to verify the story with the guys themselves. So when MTV News caught up with them at "Idiot" rehearsals, we asked: Did the musical really bring on the waterworks?
"All of us actually came to tears, because you don't get to see Green Day play live if you're actually in Green Day," bassist Mike Dirnt said.
April 19, 2010
American Idiot, the new American musical based on the Grammy Award-winning rock album by Green Day, and featuring direction by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer, opens April 20 at the St. James Theatre following previews from March 24.
A far cry from the sexual coming-of-age and teen-angst tale that was Spring Awakening, for which Mayer won the Tony Award for Best Direction, American Idiot — a narrative expansion of the album — is about a young man named Johnny (played by Spring Awakening's Tony-winning John Gallagher, Jr.), who journeys from the soulless suburbs in search of something greater, all in the post-9/11 age of media-saturation, fear and cynicism. His two pals, Will (played by Michael Esper) and Tunny (played by Tony nominee Stark Sands), take their own paths.
Johnny is also known as Jesus of Suburbia, a name familiar to fans of the 2004 Grammy Award-winning source album, a punk rock hit that has sold more than 12 million copies.
Here's how the producers describe the experience: "
American Idiot follows the exhilarating journey of a new generation of young Americans as they struggle to find meaning in a post 9/11 world, borne along by Green Day's electrifying score."
The 90-minute rock musical draws on all the songs from "American Idiot," plus material
April 18, 2010
They've already promised that the Broadway version of their American Idiot album isn't going to be "a rated-PG affair," but now Green Day are taking it one step further, telling their fans why they should make their way to New York to catch the musical.
"I think it's the same reason why you would want to go see a band play live, you know? It's a record that's coming to life, it's in your face, and it's a story. You're seeing a good movie," frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said. "It's a great story, and it's going to move you. ... That's what American Idiot does. That's what it does in the music, and that's what it's going to do onstage."
And based on early accounts, Armstrong is right. The stage version of "Idiot" doesn't officially open until Tuesday at the St. James Theatre, but the band — and director Michael Mayer — have been tinkering with it in rehearsals since last month. And with an A-list cast of actors, a bombastic soundtrack (which features songs from Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown and a couple of Green Day B-sides) and a book that doesn't shy away from the political or the personal, it's already looking like an explosive show — the kind of thing that very well may turn Broadway on its ear.
Make no mistake about it, this isn't your parents' musical.
April 18, 2010
NEW YORK — With their punk-informed hairdos and garb, the members of Green Day look slightly out of place in Sardi's, a landmark theater-district restaurant frequented by stage folks and matinee crowds.
But Billie Joe Armstrong, Tré Cool and Mike Dirnt are Broadway babies themselves these days. The new musical American Idiot, an adaptation of the rock band's multiplatinum 2004 album, opens Tuesday at the St. James Theatre. And the guys are clearly, in Armstrong's words, "stoked" as they chat with director Michael Mayer.
It was Mayer who approached frontman Armstrong about bringing Green Day's rock opera, an account of disaffected youth in the post-9/11 era, to the stage. A Tony Award winner for Spring Awakening, another rock musical charting the oppression and alienation of junior citizens, Mayer also co-wrote Idiot's libretto with Armstrong.
Not that Armstrong and his bandmates were strangers to musical theater. Dirnt grew up a classic-movie buff, "so I know my way around a few scores." Adds Cool: "We like all kinds of music, and some of those old show tunes are really good."
"When American Idiot came out, we said it had more in common with Rocky Horror than (The Clash's) London Calling," Armstrong says.
Mayer goes further, likening Idiot's character- and