Green Day's American Idiot becomes stage show

"All the world's a stage" said William Shakespeare. And Green Day are the latest band whose music will be turned into a stage show.

A new musical production adapted from Green Day's American Idiot album (2004) is scheduled to make its debut in September at the Berkeley Repertory Theater in California.

The show will run 4 Sept-11 October, with Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer at the helm.

"Wildest dream"

Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong admits he is baffled as to the how Green Day's concept album got this far.

"It doesn't make a lot of sense, but that's what I love about it," he says. "When people see it, it's going to be my wildest dream.

"It doesn't make a lot of sense" Billie Joe Armstrong

On a basic level, American Idiot is about a character, Jesus Of Suburbia, whom Armstrong describes as essentially an "anti-hero, a powerless 'everyman' desensitized by a steady diet of soda pop and Ritalin".

Jesus leaves his hometown for the big city, where he meets Whatsername and St Jimmy, a punk purist who later commits suicide. Armstrong has hinted that 'Jimmy' is merely an imaginary alter-ego of Jesus. So far, so confusing.

"It's not the most linear story in the world," admits Armstrong

Mayer says: "If you read it a certain way, you can pull out a multiplicity of voices." He predicted the stage ensemble would include 19 performers playing characters in their early 20s, though no casting has been announced.

However the final show pans out, Green Day's American Idiot joins The Who's Tommy as an album taken to the stage.

Other artists who've had collections of songs turned into stage musicals include Queen (We Will Rock You), Buddy Holly (Buddy), Abba (Mama Mia) and, somewhat preposterously, The Smiths (Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others).


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