It was announced today that Green Day's Grammy-winning, 12 million-copy selling 2004 album American Idiot is going to be brought to the (as they used to say) "legitimate" stage as a full-fledged musical this coming September. The month-long debut run will take place at California's Berkeley Repertory Theatre--just a pogo hop and a gob from the Gilman Street Project club where Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt, and Tre Cool cut their baby punk teeth back in the late 1980s and early '90s.
The band's chief collaborators will be Michael Mayer, who in 2007 brought home the Tony Award as Best Director for that year's also Tony-winning Best Musical Spring Awakening--the coming-of-age Broadway hit with a score by singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik--as well as award-winning British choreographer Steven Hoggett. The show will feature every song from the original American album, as well as a few new songs from Green Day's soon-to-be-released new CD, 21st Century Breakdown.
Calling the American Idiot album "the heartbeat of a generation who were fed up," Mayer says that its songs represent "the articulation of their frustration, anger, and longing for a better world--a journey from apathy to action." For his part, Armstrong told the New York Times that he's game for trying to transform the loose knit concept album into a full-fledged musical--although, he admits, "it's not the most linear story in the world."
It will, of course, remain to be seen whether this production, which was workshopped in two sessions in New York last year, will make household names out of American Idiot lyric-referenced characters like "St. Jimmy," "Jesus Of Suburbia," and "Whatshername." But if "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" somehow makes it to Broadway, maybe we can start dreaming about the possibility of more punk musicals, like, say, Sid And Nancy, with Rob Zombie directing and Marilyn Manson as Sid Vicious and Courtney Love as Nancy Spungen. And after that, a stage version of the Ramones movie Rock 'N' Roll High School, with Taylor Swift as Riff Randall, Madonna as Principal Togar, and Jack Black as Professor McGree.
Now that would be interesting.