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American Idiot (musical)

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Green Day's American Idiot
Music Green Day
Lyrics Billie Joe Armstrong
Book Billie Joe Armstrong
Michael Mayer
Basis American Idiot
by Green Day
Premiere September 2009 – Berkeley Repertory Theatre, California
Productions 2009 Berkeley
2010 Broadway
2011 First US Tour
2012 UK / Second US Tour
2013 Tokyo
2013 Seoul
2013 Third US Tour
2015 Malmö
2015 West End
Awards Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album

American Idiot is a sung-through stage adaptation of punk rock band Green Day's rock opera, American Idiot. After a run at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2009, the show moved to the St. James Theatre on Broadway. Previews began on March 24, 2010 and the play officially opened on April 20, 2010. The show closed on April 24, 2011 after 422 performances. While Green Day did not appear in the production, vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong performed the role of "St. Jimmy" occasionally throughout the run.

The story, expanded from that of the concept album, centers on three disaffected young men, Johnny, Will, and Tunny. Johnny and Tunny flee a stifling suburban lifestyle and parental restrictions, while Will stays home to work out his relationship with his pregnant girlfriend, Heather. The former pair look for meaning in life and try out the freedom and excitement of the city. Tunny quickly gives up on life in the city, joins the military, and is shipped off to war. Johnny turns to drugs and finds a part of himself that he grows to dislike, has a relationship and experiences lost love.

The book was written by Armstrong and director Michael Mayer. The music was composed by Green Day and the lyrics were by Armstrong. The score included all the songs from American Idiot and additional Green Day songs from other sources, including 21st Century Breakdown, and unreleased songs originally recorded for American Idiot.

The musical won two 2010 Tony Awards: Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Christine Jones, and Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Kevin Adams. It also received a nomination for Best Musical. On February 13, 2011, it won a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album.


Set in the recent past, the musical opens on a group of suburban youths living unhappily in "Jingletown, USA" and saturated with TV. Fed up with the state of the union, the company explodes in frustration ("American Idiot"). One of the youths, Johnny ("Jesus of Suburbia"), goes to commiserate with his friend Will. A third friend, Tunny, joins the two and they party until they run out of beer, prompting them to pick up more at the local 7-Eleven. Tunny soon exposes the do-nothing go-nowhere quicksand of their lives ("City of the Damned"). They get riled up, and Johnny challenges his friends to engage ("I Don't Care"). Will's girlfriend, Heather, soon makes an appearance. She is pregnant and doesn't know what to do ("Dearly Beloved"). Johnny borrows money and buys bus tickets to the city for the three young men, eager to escape suburbia. Before the boys are able to leave, Heather tells Will of her pregnancy. With no other choice, he stays home ("Tales of Another Broken Home"). Johnny and Tunny depart for the city with a group of other jaded youths ("Holiday").

While Johnny wanders the city and pines for a woman he sees in an apartment window ("Boulevard of Broken Dreams"), Tunny finds it hard to adjust to urban life and is seduced by a television ad for the army ("Favorite Son"). Tunny realizes that his generation has been so numbed and apathetic that nothing, not even the bright lights of the city, will excite him ("Are We the Waiting"). He enlists in the army.

A frustrated Johnny manifests a rebellious drug-dealing alter ego called St. Jimmy, and shoots heroin for the first time ("St. Jimmy"). His newfound courage thanks to St. Jimmy and the drugs allow Johnny to make a successful move on the girl in the window. Back in Jingletown, Will sits on the couch as his girlfriend's pregnancy progresses. He drinks beer and begs for a release. Meanwhile, Tunny is deployed to a war zone, and is soon shot and wounded ("Give Me Novacaine").

Johnny spends the night with the girl he saw in the window, whom he calls "Whatsername". Johnny is smitten with Whatsername and wants to celebrate, but St. Jimmy has other plans for them ("Last of the American Girls/She's a Rebel"). Johnny and Whatsername go to a club, shoot drugs together, and have passionate sex. By this time, Will and Heather's baby girl has been born, and Will is increasingly oblivious as Heather tenderly commits herself to her baby's future ("Last Night on Earth").

Heather has had enough of Will's pot-and-alcohol-fueled apathy. Despite Will's protestations, she takes the baby and walks out ("Too Much, Too Soon"). Around the same time, lying in a bed in an army hospital ("Before the Lobotomy"), Tunny falls victim to the hopelessness he has seen during wartime and hallucinates. He and his nurse engage in a balletic aerial dance ("Extraordinary Girl"). He quickly falls in love with her. His hallucination disappears, and he's left with his fellow soldiers in agony ("Before the Lobotomy (Reprise)").

Back in the city, Johnny reveals the depth of his love for Whatsername as she sleeps ("When It's Time"). The temptation of drugs, however, is too great; Jimmy forces Johnny to become increasingly erratic, and he eventually threatens Whatsername (and then himself) with a knife ("Know Your Enemy"). Whatsername attempts to talk about Johnny's behavior, while the Extraordinary Girl dresses Tunny's wounds and Will sits on the couch, once again alone ("21 Guns"). Johnny leaves a note for Whatsername, saying he has chosen Jimmy and drugs over her. Frightened and fed up, Whatsername tells Johnny that he is not the "Jesus of Suburbia" and reveals that St. Jimmy is nothing more than "a figment of [his] father's rage and [his] mother's love" ("Letterbomb"). She leaves him.

Hurt by Whatsername's departure, Johnny longs for better days ahead, Tunny longs for home, and Will longs for all the things he's lost ("Wake Me Up When September Ends"). St. Jimmy appears and makes one last attempt to get Johnny's attention, but that part of Johnny has died, resulting in the metaphorical suicide of St. Jimmy ("The Death of St. Jimmy"). Johnny cleans up and gets a desk job but soon realizes there is no place for him in the city ("East 12th Street"). Will, all alone with his television, bemoans his outcast state ("Nobody Likes You"). As he finally gets up off the couch, Heather appears with her new show-off rockstar boyfriend ("Rock and Roll Girlfriend"). Will heads to the 7-Eleven to get away from them and, surprisingly, finds Johnny there. Johnny had sold his guitar for a bus ticket home. Tunny returns from the war zone (as an amputee) with the Extraordinary Girl. As Tunny introduces his friends to the Extraordinary Girl, Johnny becomes furious with him for leaving the group, but quickly forgives him and the three friends embrace. Heather and her boyfriend arrive. In an uneasy truce, she gives the baby to Will. Other friends show up to greet the three men they haven't seen in a year ("We're Coming Home Again"). One year later, Johnny laments that he lost the love of his life, but he accepts that he can live inside the struggle between rage and love that has defined his life. With this acceptance comes the possibility of hope ("Whatsername").

After the cast takes their bows, the curtain rises to reveal the entire company with guitars, with which they perform the song "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)". Each performance of this song was recorded and given to the audience as a free digital download.

Characters and cast members[edit]

The principal cast members of all major productions of American Idiot.

Character Original Berkeley Cast Original Broadway Cast Final Broadway Cast Original US Tour Cast Original UK / Second US Tour Cast Original Tokyo / Seoul Tour Cast Third US Tour Cast Final US Tour Cast Original West End Cast
Johnny (Jesus of Suburbia) John Gallagher, Jr. Van Hughes Alex Nee Sean Michael Murray Jared Nepute Aaron Sidwell
The main protagonist of the story and most of the plot points revolve around his picaresque journey, on which he experiences nihilism, drug abuse, and lost love.
Will Michael Esper Justin Guarini Jake Epstein Casey O'Farrell Steve Rushton
One of Johnny's best friends. He plans to leave town with the group until his girlfriend, Heather, reveals that she is pregnant with his child. Will stays at home in an alcohol and drug-infused depression.
Tunny Matt Caplan Stark Sands David Larsen Scott J. Campbell Thomas Hettrick Dan Tracy Alexis Gerred
Another of Johnny's best friends. He accompanies Johnny to the city, but soon joins the military and is sent off to war. Tunny suffers serious injuries and loses a leg. During his rehabilitation, he falls in love with his nurse, and the two accompany each other home at the end of the story.
Whatsername Rebecca Naomi Jones Gabrielle McClinton Alyssa DiPalma Olivia Puckett Amelia Lily
A nameless, attractive young woman who accompanies Johnny on his pleasure-seeking journey. She eventually realizes that their relationship is mutually destructive and leaves him.
Heather Mary Faber Jeanna de Waal Leslie McDonel Kennedy Caughell Mariah MacFarlane Natasha Barnes
Will's pregnant girlfriend. Her unplanned pregnancy causes Will to stay behind when his friends leave town. She leaves Will and begins a relationship with another man to protect their child, eventually leading a life of glamour that is in stark contrast to Will's couch-wallowing ways.
The Extraordinary Girl Christina Sajous Libby Winters Nicci Claspell Jenna Rubaii Taylor Jones Raquel Jones
A nurse who treats Tunny after he is wounded in war. The two eventually fall in love and accompany each other home after the war.
St. Jimmy Tony Vincent Billie Joe Armstrong Joshua Kobak Trent Saunders Daniel C. Jackson Carson Higgins Lucas Rush
An adventurous drug dealer who is eventually revealed to be a drug-addled manifestation of Johnny's id.


In 2000, Green Day released the album Warning. Village Voice music critic Robert Christgau compared Warning to the band's previous album (Nimrod), and noted that "[Billie Joe Armstrong is] abandoning the first person. He's assuming fictional personas. And he's creating for himself the voice of a thinking left-liberal." Christgau also detected "a faint whiff" of the work of the theatrical composer/lyricist team of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht.[1] The trend of writing in the third person came to fruition with Green Day's next studio album, American Idiot in 2004. The first new song Green Day wrote was the single "American Idiot".

One day, bassist Mike Dirnt was in the studio recording a 30-second song by himself. Armstrong decided that he wanted to do the same, and drummer Tré Cool followed suit. Armstrong recalled, "It started getting more serious as we tried to outdo one another. We kept connecting these little half-minute bits until we had something." This musical suite became "Homecoming", and the group subsequently wrote another suite, "Jesus of Suburbia".

Green Day made the record an album-long conceptual piece which was a response to the realities of the post-9/11 era.[2] The band took inspiration from the concept records by The Who,[3] sources in the musical theater repertoire like The Rocky Horror Show and West Side Story, and the concept album-cum-stage musical Jesus Christ, Superstar.[3][4] Armstrong also said the band intended "that it would be staged or we'd create a film or something... we were thinking in terms that it kind of felt like scoring a movie."[4]

Director Michael Mayer heard the album and expressed an interest in adapting it for the stage. When he approached the band regarding a collaboration, they agreed to work with him.[5] The band also gave Mayer a wide latitude for his adaptation after seeing his earlier work in Spring Awakening.[4] Though additional songs were included from the Green Day catalog, Mayer added very little dialogue to the show. He felt instead that the music and lyrics were expressive enough on their own, and even removed some of the dialogue that was part of the Berkeley production before the show moved to Broadway.[6]

Production history[edit]

Berkeley (2009)[edit]

The musical premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Previews began on September 4, 2009 and the official opening was on September 15, 2009.[7] After becoming the top-grossing show in the theatre's history, the producers extended the limited run twice to November 15, 2009.[8] The cast included John Gallagher Jr. as Johnny, Matt Caplan as Tunny, Michael Esper as Will, Tony Vincent as St. Jimmy, Rebecca Naomi Jones as Whatsername, Mary Faber as Heather, and Christina Sajous as the Extraordinary Girl.[9]

Broadway (2010–2011)[edit]

The musical transferred to the St. James Theatre on Broadway, with previews beginning on March 24, 2010. It officially opened on April 20, 2010.[10] The cast for the Berkeley Repertory production was retained for the Broadway production, with the exception of Matt Caplan who was replaced by Stark Sands.[11] It was rumored that the show cost between $8 million and $10 million to produce.[12] After six months of performances, the show was "still a ways off from possibly turning a profit" according to a The New York Times report.[12]

The marquee above the St. James Theatre after the 350th performance of American Idiot.

Tom Kitt was the music supervisor and orchestrator for both the Berkeley and Broadway productions.[13] The lead producers for the show were Ira Pittelman and Tom Hulce.[14] In addition to Pittelman and Hulce, Broadway producer Vivek Tiwary, whose experience included Raisin in the Sun and The Addams Family, also joined American Idiot's team of producers.[15] The creative team for the show was largely the same as for the musical adaptation of Spring Awakening: director Michael Mayer, scenic designer Christine Jones, and lighting designer Kevin Adams.[16] Olivier Award winner Steven Hoggett was the choreographer.[17] Andrea Lauer was the costume designer and Brian Ronan was the sound designer.[18][19]

On September 26, 2010, Armstrong wrote on the official Green Day Twitter account that, from September 28 to October 3, he would play the role of St. Jimmy. The announcement led to an immediate increase in the sale of tickets at the St. James Theatre.[12] Ticket sales for the week Armstrong performed were up 77%, average ticket prices increased 22%, and gross sales increased 127% from the previous week's totals.[20][21][22] The singer-songwriter filled in for cast member Tony Vincent who took time off for personal matters; the week following Armstrong's run, St. Jimmy's understudies, Andrew Call and Joshua Kobak, split covering the role.[12][23] On November 30, 2010, the producers announced that Armstrong would make another 50 appearances as St. Jimmy between January 1 and February 27, 2011.[24][25][26]

Armstrong's Broadway performances were among a number of personal appearances he has made to help promote the show.[12] As a part of the promotion for the show, the cast performed at the Grammy Awards on January 31, 2010 with Green Day.[11] In addition to Armstrong's stint as St. Jimmy, singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge played the part of St. Jimmy on Broadway from February 1–6, 2011, and Davey Havok of the alternative rock band AFI took the role from March 1–15, 2011.[27][28]

In the wake of weak sales following the departure of Armstrong from the role of St. Jimmy, The New York Times hinted that the producers could soon post a closing notice for the production.[29] The Broadway production was then scheduled to close on April 24, 2011 after 27 previews and 421 performances. Armstrong returned to the role of St. Jimmy for the final three weeks.[30]

International Tour (2011–2014)[edit]

It was announced on February 11, 2011 that the musical would begin a national touring production on December 28, 2011, in Toronto, Canada. The first national tour cast includes Van Hughes reprising his role as Johnny, Jake Epstein as Will, Scott J. Campbell as Tunny, Leslie McDonel as Heather, Gabrielle McClinton as Whatsername, Nicci Claspell as The Extraordinary Girl, and Broadway alumnus Joshua Kobak as St. Jimmy. The ensemble included Talia Aaron, Krystina Alabado, Gabriel Antonacci, Larkin Bogan, Kaitlyn Terrill: due to a torn ACL could not continue on with the show and was replaced by Jennifer Bowles, Matt Deangelis, Dan Gleason, Kelvin Moon Loh, Tommy McDowell, Jillian Mueller, Okieriete Onaodowan, Jarran Muse as Favorite Son, and Vince Oddo.[31] A non-Equity second U.S. tour launched in the late summer of 2012.

On December 1, 2011, it was announced that the musical would be touring the UK, as well as Ireland, in Autumn 2012. The tour will visit Manchester, Southampton, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dublin, Birmingham and London.[32] The cast includes Alex Nee as Johnny, Casey O'Farrell as Will, Thomas Hettrick as Tunny, Kennedy Caughell as Heather, Alyssa DiPalma as Whatsername, Jenna Rubaii as The Extraordinary Girl, and Trent Saunders as St. Jimmy. The ensemble includes Aurie Ceylon, Carson Higgins, Antwaun Holley, Daniel C. Jackson, Brandon Kalm, John Krause, Alison Morooney, Turner Rouse, Jr., Jamal Shuriah, Dustin Harris Smith, Ashley Tobias, Chelsea Turbin and Jared Young as Favorite Son.[33] It started on October 9, 2012 at Southampton's Mayflower Theatre, and ended on December 16, 2012 at HMV Hammersmith Apollo in London.[34] The tour began performances in the US in Norfolk, VA on January 25, 2013 with the same cast that had toured in the UK. It ended Las Vegas, NV on June 16, 2013 with cast members Alex Nee, Kennedy Caughell and Trent Saunders leaving the tour.

On August 7, 2013, American Idiot made its debut in Tokyo, Japan, and a few weeks later on September 5, it made its South Korean debut in Seoul. Sean Michael Murray took over the role of Johnny, Mariah MacFarlane took over as Heather, and Daniel C. Jackson took over as St. Jimmy.

On October 28, 2013, the third national tour cast was announced. The cast includes Jared Nepute as Johnny, Casey O'Farrell as Will, Dan Tracy as Tunny, Mariah MacFarlane as Heather, Olivia Puckett as Whatsername, Taylor Jones as Extraordinary Girl, and Daniel C. Jackson as St. Jimmy. The ensemble includes Alex Boniello, Liam Fennecken, Sean Garner, Francesca Granell, Antwaun Holley, Andrew Humann, Alison Morooney, Johnny Newcomb, Michael Pilato, Eric Presnall, Turner Rouse, Jr., Josephine Spada and Chelsea Turbin.[35] On January 16, 2014, Carson Higgins, who had previously been a part of the non-equity/UK tour, took over the role of St. Jimmy, after Daniel C. Jackson left the show.[36] The tour ended on May 25, 2014.

Malmö (2015)[edit]

On March 2014, Swedish newspaper Sydsvenskan reported that the musical would have its Scandinavian premiere at the Malmö Opera in the spring of 2015.[37] This was a new production of the musical, and was the first official production not to be directed by Michael Mayer. The songs were performed in English but the spoken parts was in Swedish. The production open on February 7, and remain until April 19.[38]

Musical numbers[edit]

The show features all of the songs from the album American Idiot, some B-tracks and a few of the songs from Green Day's 21st Century Breakdown.[39] The show also features an onstage band.[40]

  • "American Idiot" – Company
  • "Jesus of Suburbia"
    • "Jesus of Suburbia" – Johnny and Will
    • "City of the Damned" – Tunny, Johnny, Will, & Company
    • "I Don't Care" – Johnny, Will, Tunny, & Company
    • "Dearly Beloved" – Heather & Men
    • "Tales of Another Broken Home" – Johnny, Will, Tunny, Heather, & Company
  • "Holiday" – Johnny, Tunny, Theo, & Company
  • "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" – Johnny, Whatsername, Tunny, & Men
  • "Favorite Son" – Favorite Son & Women
  • "Are We the Waiting" – Tunny, Favorite Son, & Company
  • "St. Jimmy" – Johnny, Miguel, Declan, Theo, St. Jimmy, & Company
  • "Give Me Novacaine" – Will, Tunny, & Company
  • "Last of the American Girls/She's a Rebel" – Johnny, Whatsername, Gerard, Chase, St. Jimmy, & Company
  • "Last Night on Earth" – St. Jimmy, Whatsername, Heather, & Company
  • "Too Much Too Soon" – Theo, Alysha, Will, & Heather
  • "Before the Lobotomy" – Tunny, Joshua, Ben, & Chase
  • "Extraordinary Girl" – Extraordinary Girl, Tunny, & Company
  • "Before the Lobotomy (Reprise)" – Tunny, Joshua, Ben, & Chase
  • "When It's Time" – Johnny
  • "Know Your Enemy" – St. Jimmy, Will, Johnny, & Company
  • "21 Guns" – Whatsername, Extraordinary Girl, Heather, Tunny, Johnny, Will, & Company
  • "Letterbomb" – Whatsername & Women
  • "Wake Me Up When September Ends" – Johnny, Will, Tunny, & Company
  • "Homecoming"
    • "The Death of St. Jimmy" – St. Jimmy & Johnny
    • "East 12th St." – Johnny, Theo, Gerard, & Company
    • "Nobody Likes You" – Will & Company
    • "Rock and Roll Girlfriend" – Miguel, Heather, Will, & Company
    • "We're Coming Home Again" – Johnny, Tunny, Will, & Company
  • "Whatsername" – Johnny & Company
  • "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" – Company (Curtain call)

Green Day re-released the single "21 Guns" with the musical cast on on December 3, 2009.[41] This version features Billie Joe Armstrong, together with Christina Sajous, Rebecca Naomi Jones, Mary Faber and Stark Sands, with backup from the rest of American Idiot cast. Another version was released with John Gallagher, Jr., Michael Esper, and Sands singing the parts that Armstrong had previously sung. Green Day and the cast of the musical also performed the song at the 2010 Grammy Awards on January 31, 2010.[42]

The original cast recording of the musical was released on April 20, 2010.[43] The cast album includes all the songs featured in the musical plus a brand new recording of "When It's Time" by Green Day. The album won Best Musical Show Album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards.


Reviews for the Berkeley Repertory Theatre production were mixed. Charles McNulty of Los Angeles Times called the show "kinetically entertaining in a way that intentionally reflects the shallow, media-saturated culture the album rails against".[44] Karen D'Souza of San Jose Mercury News called the production "a thrashing collage of songs fused together with hypnotic movement and eye-popping visuals" and thought the show "as compelling as it is abstract [and] channels the grungy spirit of punk while also plucking at the heartstrings."[45] However, Jim Harrington of the Oakland Tribune compared the show unfavorably to the original album, writing: "[what] once was a fine Gouda, has been prepackaged as Velveeta", and continued sarcastically, "In other words, it should do big business on Broadway."[46] Charles Isherwood of The New York Times commented that the show contained "characters who lack much in the way of emotional depth or specificity, and plotlines that are simple to the point of crudity" but also felt that "the show possesses a stimulating energy and a vision of wasted youth that holds us in its grip."[47]

Isherwood's review for the Broadway production was enthusiastic. He called the show "a pulsating portrait of wasted youth that invokes all the standard genre conventions... only to transcend them through the power of its music and the artistry of its execution, the show is as invigorating and ultimately as moving as anything I’ve seen on Broadway this season. Or maybe for a few seasons past."[48] Jed Gottlieb of the Boston Herald enjoyed the premise of the show but found that "the music and message suffer in a setting where the audience is politely, soberly seated".[49] Michael Kuchwara of the Associated Press found the show to be "visually striking [and] musically adventurous", but noted that "the show has the barest wisp of a story and minimal character development".[50] Paul Kolnik in USA Today enjoyed the contradiction that Green Day's "massively popular, starkly disenchanted album ... would be the feel-good musical of the season".[51] Time magazine's Richard Zoglin opined that the score "is as pure a specimen of contemporary punk rock as Broadway has yet encountered [yet] there's enough variety.... Where the show fall short is as a fully developed narrative." He concluded that "American Idiot, despite its earnest huffing and puffing, remains little more than an annotated rock concert.... Still, [it] deserves at least two cheers – for its irresistible musical energy and for opening fresh vistas for that odd couple, rock and Broadway."[52] Peter Travers from Rolling Stone wrote, "Though American Idiot carries echoes of such rock musicals as Tommy, Hair, Rent and Spring Awakening, it cuts its own path to the heart. You won’t know what hit you. American Idiot knows no limits — it's a global knockout."[53]

Reviews of the West End production was generally positive. Rachel Ward of The Telegraph gave it four out of five stars, calling "90 minutes of uninterrupted chaos".[54] Kate Stanbury from Official London Theatre summarized, "Chaotic, intense and pulsating with legendary Green Day hits, a trip to this Tony Award-winning musical may just give you the time of your life."[55] Paul Taylor of The Independent also gave four out of five stars, praising director and choreographer Racky Plews for making "a sharp-witted version that throbs with some of the energy of a rock gig (if minus the feeling of unpredictability) while being shrewdly calibrated to suit the intimacy of the 350-seater Arts Theatre."[56]

Awards and nominations[edit]

American Idiot won a total of 5 awards. At a meeting of the Tony Administration Committee on April 30, 2010, the score of American Idiot was deemed ineligible for a Tony Award for Best Original Score nomination because less than 50% of it was written for the stage production.[57]

Broadway production[edit]

Year Award Ceremony Category Nominee Result Ref
2010 55th Drama Desk Awards Outstanding Musical Nominated [58][59]
Outstanding Director of a Musical Michael Mayer Won
Outstanding Orchestrations Tom Kitt Nominated
64th Tony Awards Best Musical Nominated [60][61]
Best Scenic Design of a Musical Christine Jones Won
Best Lighting Design of a Musical Kevin Adams Won
60th Outer Critics Circle Awards Outstanding New Broadway Musical Nominated [62]
Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical) Kevin Adams Won
2011 53rd Grammy Awards Best Musical Show Album Billie Joe Armstrong, producer. Chris Dugan & Chris Lord-Alge, engineers/mixers. Won [63]

Broadway attendances, performances, and gross receipts[edit]

The following is a month-by-month breakdown of sales, attendance, and performance data for the production at the 1,709-capacity St. James Theatre.[64]

Time period Attendance Gross sales Average Paid Admission Percent of Capacity References
March 24 – April 4, 2010 (12 previews) 16,879 $1,312,033 $77.73 82.3% [65][66]
April 5 – May 2, 2010 (14 previews, 16 performances) 38,195 $2,591,496 $67.85 74.5% [67][68][69][70]
May 3 – June 6, 2010 (40 performances) 47,371 $3,898,058 $82.29 69.3% [71][72][73][74][75]
June 7 – July 4, 2010 (31 performances) 36,876 $3,082,501 $83.59 69.6% [76][77][78][79]
July 5 – August 1, 2010 (32 performances) 39,793 $3,199,187 $80.40 72.8% [80][81][82][83]
August 2 – September 5, 2010 (40 performances) 45,125 $3,535,540 $78.35 66.0% [84][85][86][87][88]
September 6 – October 3, 2010 (31 performances) 36,363 $2,491,234 $68.51 68.6% [21][89][90][91]
October 4 – 31, 2010 (32 performances) 28,202 $1,983,404 $70.33 51.6% [92][93][94][95]
November 1 – December 5, 2010 (40 performances) 33,334 $2,452,032 $73.56 48.8% [96][97][98][99][100]
December 6, 2010 – January 2, 2011 (32 performances) 33,694 $2,694,839 $79.98 61.6% [101][102][103][104]
January 3 – February 6, 2011 (40 performances) 47,347 $3,912,616 $82.64 69.3% [105][106][107][108][109]
February 7 – March 6, 2011 (32 performances) 43,148 $3,818,799 $88.50 78.9% [110][111][112][113]
March 7 – April 3, 2011 (32 performances) 32,498 $1,912,847 $58.86 59.4% [114][115][116][117]
April 4–24, 2011 (24 performances) 31,898 $2,913,465 $91.34 77.8% [118][119][120]
422 performances, 26 previews 510,723 $39,798,051 $77.92 66.7%

Film adaptation[edit]

On April 13, 2011, it was announced that Tom Hanks and his production company Playtone optioned the musical to create a film version and Universal Pictures had begun initial negotiations to distribute. Michael Mayer, who also directed the Broadway version, will be directing the film while the producers will be Green Day and Hanks. Dustin Lance Black was selected to adapt the screenplay from the musical for the film.[121] The Hollywood Reporter reported that Billie Joe Armstrong would be starring as St. Jimmy in the film, and that it was set for a 2013 release date.[122] However, Armstrong later posted on his Twitter account that he hadn't "totally committed to St. Jimmy for the AI movie. Yes, I'm interested."[123]

In July 2013, at a screening of Broadway Idiot, Mayer confirmed that the film adaptation was still happening, but production was unknown due to "Hollywood bullshit".[124] On March 12, 2014, playwright Rolin Jones revealed he was writing a new screenplay for the film. Comparing it to the musical, Jones says, "The idea is to get it a little dirtier and a little nastier and translate it into visual terms. There's not going to be a lot of dialogue and it probably should be a little shorter, too. After that, it just takes its 'movie time' in getting done", and he expected to finish it by the end of the month.[125]

Broadway Idiot[edit]

On January 23, 2013, it was announced that a documentary showing Armstrong's journey from punk rock to Broadway was to be released.[126] Called Broadway Idiot and showing a lot of behind-the-scenes of the musical production, the movie was directed by Doug Hamilton, veteran television journalist for CBS News' 60 Minutes and PBS documentaries such as Nova, Frontline and American Masters. A trailer was released on January 30, 2013.[127] The documentary premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 15, 2013.[128] On October 11, 2013, it was released in some theaters and on video on demand by FilmBuff.[129]

Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 63% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 19 reviews, with an average score of 5.8/10.[130] On Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 based on reviews from critics, the film has a score of 51 (citing "mixed or average reviews") based on 14 reviews.[131]


  1. ^ Christgau, Robert (2000-10-17), "Ina Dancehall Groove—Finally", The Village Voice 
  2. ^ Itzkoff, Dave (2009-03-29), "Punk CD Is Going Theatrical", New York Times 
  3. ^ a b di Perna, Alan. "Combat Rock". Guitar World (Holiday 2004). 
  4. ^ a b c Jones, Kenneth (2010-04-20), "Green Day's American Idiot, the Musical, Opens on Broadway", 
  5. ^ Jones, Kenneth (2009-09-16), "Green Day's American Idiot, the Musical, Opens on Broadway", 
  6. ^ Healy, Patrick (2010-04-01), "Finding the Musical Hidden in a Punk Album", New York Times 
  7. ^ McElroy, Steven (2009-09-10), "Shakespeare, Singing and Solo Shows Galore", The Newy York Times 
  8. ^ Jones, Kenneth (2009-09-30), "American Idiot, a Bay Area Smash, Will Play to Nov. 15", 
  9. ^ Ng, David (2009-08-03), "Berkeley Rep announces cast for Green Day's 'American Idiot'", Los Angeles Times 
  10. ^ Jones, Kenneth (2010-01-15), "American Idiot Will Rock Broadway's St. James Starting March 24", 
  11. ^ a b Jones, Kenneth (2010-01-28), "Broadway's American Idiot Cast Announced; Troupe Will Appear on Grammys Jan. 31", 
  12. ^ a b c d e Healy, Patrick (2010-09-27), "Rocker Follows His Work Onto a Broadway Stage", New York Times 
  13. ^ "American Idiot Opens At Berkeley Rep 9/16",, 2009-09-16 
  14. ^ McKinley, Jesse (2009-09-17), "Green Day Reaches a New Stage", The New York Times 
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  24. ^ "Billie Joe on Broadway is back: Billie Joe Armstrong returns as "St. Jimmy" beginning 1/1/11". Twitter. Twitter. Retrieved 30 November 2010. 
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  48. ^ Isherwood, Charles (2010-04-21), "Stomping Onto Broadway With a Punk Temper Tantrum", New York Times 
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  57. ^ Healy, Patrick (2010-04-30), "Some Plays Eligible for Best-Score Tony, but Not ‘American Idiot’ or ‘Fela!’", New York Times 
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  64. ^ Sales data is reported weekly. For the sake of simplicity, the fiscal month starts on the first Monday of the month.
  65. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-03-29), "Broadway Grosses: March 22–28", 
  66. ^ Gewirtzman, David (2010-04-05), "Broadway Grosses: March 29 – April 4", 
  67. ^ Gewirtzman, David (2010-04-12), "Broadway Grosses: April 5–11", 
  68. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-04-19), "Broadway Grosses: April 12–18", 
  69. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-04-26), "Broadway Grosses: April 19–25", 
  70. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-05-03), "Broadway Grosses: April 26 – May 2", 
  71. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-05-10), "Broadway Grosses: May 3–9", 
  72. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-05-17), "Broadway Grosses: May 10–16", 
  73. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-05-24), "Broadway Grosses: May 17–23", 
  74. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-06-02), "Broadway Grosses: May 24–30", 
  75. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-06-07), "Broadway Grosses: May 31 – June 6", 
  76. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-06-14), "Broadway Grosses: June 7–13", 
  77. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-06-21), "Broadway Grosses: June 14–20", 
  78. ^ Gewirtzman, David (2010-06-28), "Broadway Grosses: June 21–27", 
  79. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-07-06), "Broadway Grosses: June 28 – July 4", 
  80. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-07-12), "Broadway Grosses: July 5–11", 
  81. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-07-19), "Broadway Grosses: July 12–18", 
  82. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-07-26), "Broadway Grosses: July 19–25", 
  83. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-08-02), "Broadway Grosses: July 26 – Aug. 1", 
  84. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-08-09), "Broadway Grosses: Aug. 2–8", 
  85. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-08-16), "Broadway Grosses: Aug. 9–15", 
  86. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-08-23), "Broadway Grosses: Aug. 9–15", 
  87. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-08-30), "Broadway Grosses: Aug. 9–15", 
  88. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-09-07), "Broadway Grosses: Aug. 30 – Sept. 5", 
  89. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-09-13), "Broadway Grosses: Sept. 6–12", 
  90. ^ Gewirtzman, David (2010-09-20), "Broadway Grosses: Sept. 13–19", 
  91. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-09-27), "Broadway Grosses: Sept. 20–26", 
  92. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-10-12), "Broadway Grosses: Oct. 4–10", 
  93. ^ Gewirtzman, David (2010-10-18), "Broadway Grosses: Oct. 11–17", 
  94. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-10-25), "Broadway Grosses: Oct. 18–24", 
  95. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-11-01), "Broadway Grosses: Oct. 25–31", 
  96. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-11-08), "Broadway Grosses: Nov. 1–7", 
  97. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-11-15), "Broadway Grosses: Nov. 8–14", 
  98. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-11-22), "Broadway Grosses: Nov. 15–21", 
  99. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-11-29), "Broadway Grosses: Nov. 22–28", 
  100. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-12-06), "Broadway Grosses: Nov. 29 – Dec. 5", 
  101. ^ Ku, Andrew (2010-12-13), "Broadway Grosses: Dec. 6–12", 
  102. ^ Gewirtzman, David (2010-12-20), "Broadway Grosses: Dec. 13–19", 
  103. ^ Gewirtzman, David (2010-12-28), "Broadway Grosses: Dec. 20–26", 
  104. ^ Ku, Andrew (2011-01-03), "Broadway Grosses: Dec. 27 – Jan. 2", 
  105. ^ Ku, Andrew (2011-01-10), "Broadway Grosses: Jan. 3–9", 
  106. ^ Ku, Andrew (2011-01-18), "Broadway Grosses: Jan. 10–16", 
  107. ^ Ku, Andrew (2011-01-24), "Broadway Grosses: Jan. 17–23", 
  108. ^ Ku, Andrew (2011-01-31), "Broadway Grosses: Jan. 24–30", 
  109. ^ Gewirtzman, David (2011-02-07), "Broadway Grosses: Jan. 31-Feb. 6", 
  110. ^ Ku, Andrew (2011-02-14), "Broadway Grosses: Feb. 7–13", 
  111. ^ Gewirtzman, David (2011-02-22), "Broadway Grosses: Feb. 14–20", 
  112. ^ Ku, Andrew (2011-02-28), "Broadway Grosses: Feb. 21–27", 
  113. ^ Ku, Andrew (2011-03-07), "Broadway Grosses: Feb. 28 – March 6", 
  114. ^ Ku, Andrew (2011-03-14), "Broadway Grosses: March 7–13", 
  115. ^ Ku, Andrew (2011-03-21), "Broadway Grosses: March 14–20", 
  116. ^ Gewitzman, David (2011-03-28), "Broadway Grosses: March 21–27", 
  117. ^ Ku, Andrew (2011-04-04), "Broadway Grosses: March 28 – April 3", 
  118. ^ Gewirtzman, David (2011-04-11), "Broadway Grosses: April 4–10", 
  119. ^ Ku, Andrew (2011-04-18), "Broadway Grosses: April 11–17", 
  120. ^ Ku, Andrew (2011-04-25), "Broadway Grosses: April 18–24", 
  121. ^ ""American Idiot" movie lands at Universal". Reuters. 2011-04-13. Retrieved 2011-04-17. 
  122. ^ "Tom Hanks' Playtone Productions Announces Neil Gaiman's 'American Gods,' Mattel's 'Major Matt Mason,' Green Day's 'American Idiot' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. 2014-03-19. Retrieved 2011-11-06. 
  123. ^ "Haven't totally committed to St Jimmy for AI movie. Yes, I'm interested. Yes someone jumped the gun..". 
  124. ^ "Michael Mayer said that they don't know when the movie will come out due to Hollywood bullshit, but Billie Joe will play St. Jimmy.". 
  125. ^ "Yale Rep's 'These Paper Bullets' Features New Songs From Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong". Hartford Courant. 2014-03-12. Retrieved 2014-03-19. 
  126. ^ "Broadway Idiot is a feature length documentary. We're currently fine tuning the edit.". Broadway Idiot official Facebook. 23 January 2013. 
  127. ^ "PUNK ROCK MEETS BROADWAY - BROADWAY IDIOT TRAILER". Green Day official site. 31 January 2013. 
  128. ^ "WORLD PREMIERE!". Broadway Idiot official site. 31 January 2013. 
  129. ^ "FilmBuff - Broadway Idiot". FilmBuff official site. October 10, 2013. 
  130. ^ "Broadway Idiot - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved November 11, 2013. 
  131. ^ "Broadway Idiot Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved November 11, 2013. 

External links[edit]