Monday, September 21, 2009


PART 1: My Road to the show:
I had heard a rumor about Green Day’s American Idiot being turned into a musical for the last year or so. I was excited to hear that a band that I grew up on was working in theatre. I currently work in the radio industry, so besides my passion for theatre, a lot on my time is spend on my other passion music. Green Day has always held a special spot in my heart. They are a band that at a young age I connected with, understood and felt as if they were my band singing about how I felt. I remember in 8th grade begging my teachers at my catholic school to allow Green Day’s song "Good Riddance" be our graduation song. And the boys in my middle school being shocked when I told them I was a Green Day fan and knew all the words to "
Hitchin' a Ride" (it was my punk/ alternative rock phase. I even had a chain necklace which made me feel like a rock star!). American Idiot came out in 2004, during my first year of college, my first time voting in a presidential election. I felt Green Day wrote the lyrics to how I felt about my country, myself, the world, etc, so I instantly connected with the piece. Hanging out with the radio kids who LOVED music, many of which had mixed feelings about, I felt a bit torn that they did not see the beauty of story in the album aside from the political statements it was making. As time went on I grew as a person and away from that album and some of those feelings. When I listen to it now it reminds me of that time in my life where I felt like a displaced young person facing the real world on my own for the first time.

So the story in American Idiot made sense to me for a musical adapted for the stage but I had no idea who the cast or crew was working on the piece. Then I heard the announcement that the World Premiere of American Idiot was coming to the Berkeley Rep and I was shocked that it came together so fast and with the band on board too. Then I heard the creative team: with the Book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer, Lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong, Music by Green Day, Choreographed by Steven Hoggett, Orchestration, Arrangements, and Musical Supervision by Tom Kitt, Scenic Design by Christine Jones, and last but on least Directed by Michael Mayer! I could not believe it! I knew that with this team behind the project that it would be amazing. But I knew it was too far away to go, so that was that and I moved on.

Then came the announcement to the cast: Tony Award winner John Gallagher, Jr. as Johnny, Matt Caplan as Tunny, Michael Esper as Will, Tony Vincent as St. Jimmy, Mary Faber as Heather, Rebecca Naomi Jones as Whatsername, and Christina Sajous as Extraordinary Girl,
Declan Bennett, Ensemble, Andrew Call, Ensemble, Gerard Canonico, Ensemble, Miguel Cervantes, Ensemble, Joshua Henry, Ensemble, Brian Charles Johnson, Ensemble, Chase Peacock, Ensemble, Theo Stockman, Ensemble, Ben Thompson, Ensemble, Alysha Umphress, Ensemble, Morgan Weed, Ensemble, Libby Winters, Ensemble, Lorin Latarro, Swing, and Omar Lopez-Cepero, Swing. I knew instantly that I wanted to go see this production. Creative Team amazing, cast amazing, and last but not least GREEN DAY’S MUSIC.

I told my fellow theatre buddies about the show but no real takers on wanting to road trip it up to the bay area from So. Cal. Then randomly my brother says to me one day I want to go to San Francisco and instantly said I will go with you if we can see a play at the Berkeley Rep. while we are there. He said what is it… I said its GREEN DAY you’ll love it! He said ok, and then reality set in, no $$$. After about a week of thinking about it I remembered my motto (thanks to RENT) “NO DAY BUT TODAY”. I strive to live my life in the now, not having regrets, taking chances when it seems right, etc. I knew that I just had go for it. And for a chance to met John Gallagher Jr., Michael Mayer, and the rest of the cast and creative team…. How could I pass that up? So that is what I did, I bought a ticket forced myself to figure out a plan to pay for it all.
"Homecoming"-song from American Idiot

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