Have I ever been a big fan of Green Day? Not really. Did I find this show entertaining? Well, not particularly either. You can say this musical is THE definition of a jukebox musical. Very often, you’ll find a storyline strung together with dialogues and broken up with songs that are of little importance to the progression of the story in these jukebox musicals. Of course, some of the shows of this genre are actually very well done, for example Beautiful: the Carole King Musical and Sunny Afternoon.
What about the American Idiot? Well, I sat through the entire show and didn’t really manage to catch the name of more than 1 or 2 of the characters. Furthermore, I had very little idea as to what was going on in act 1. The issue is that they tried to squeeze too many songs into a very short period of time and provided little to no description of the events taking place. My interpretation of the story is largely based on educated guesses and there were certainly many MANY head scratching moments.
The overhead TV that appeared on and off throughout the play could have been used more effectively. For the most part, what was displayed on TV had no connection to the events taking place on stage. In fact, I believe the TV screen was playing a random footage of stars and galaxy at one point. Whatsername was hitting on a metal gate to attract Johnny’s attention in Act 1 soon after they met. The noise was very quiet and could have been missed easily. This could have been made much louder to attract the audiences attention.
Despite all that, some of the musical numbers were good. I personally enjoyed “Wake me up when September ends”, “Jesus of Suburbia” and the titled song “American idiot”. This show didn’t feel like a musical at all. If anything, it’s more suitable to describe it as a scripted rock concert. One with seats and no shouting. In conclusion, a very bizarre and strange experience.