This past Sunday, I was in the audience at the Berkeley Repertory Theater for the rock musical, American Idiot.
I was skeptical of Green Day's music and the ability of the story to be coherent. The starting chords were startling and loud with a screaming rendition of "American Idiot." The passionate lead desperately shouting, "I don't want to be an American idiot" reminds me of the opening desperation and angst-filled "Rent." But, the story and show hit close to my cultural experience in the United States. I think it was the first time I felt musical theater critique our media-obsessed culture. Yet, I have not found any solutions to all this negative commentary.
Lead by the director of Spring Awakening, Michael Mayer, this fresh rock musical might go as far as Broadway. I enjoyed the staging and choreography immensely. It was an awe-inspiring set with television sets and media pasted. It was larger than life, much like the media Green Day critiques.
Overall, I thought it was a great package with a few missing story threads. It reminded my friend of Julie Taymor's Across the Universe, visually and musically appealing, but a lacking story line. I think it will go through a couple refreshers before Broadway. The message isn't new, but I don't think we can hear this one enough.