Green Day‘s iconic 2004 album “American Idiot” is in pre-production to become a theatrical event. The trio is collaborating with Michael Mayer, renowned director of “Spring Awakening,” which garnered eight Tony Awards, including Best Director and Best Musical in 2007.
The musical is expected to premiere at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Roda Theatre in Berkeley, CA, on September 4 with a run through October 11. Tickets are on sale now for preview performances on September 4-5, 9-10 and 13 with tickets priced at $32 to $54 for these five dates only.
“We are really excited to be working with Michael Mayer on ‘American Idiot’ to the stage. We’d been thinking of bringing ‘American Idiot’ to the stage, but knew we needed to find the right partners,” said Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong in a statement. “After meeting with Michael to discuss the possibility, he invited us to see ‘Spring Awakening.’ We were so impressed with that production, as well as his vision for ‘American Idiot,’ that we knew we’d found the perfect collaborator.”
Armstrong continued, “Plus, doing it in our hometown at Berkeley Rep was an obvious bonus. They’re an amazing theatre group, very adventurous, and their willingness to take chances is in keeping with the spirit of the album. The end result will be terrific, and we’re really proud.”
“American Idiot” earned Green Day two Grammy Awards — for Best Rock Album and Record of the Year — while selling more than 12 million copies worldwide. The Berkeley Repertory Theatre is the Tony-winning playhouse that launched the rock musical “Passing Strange,” which was written by rock musician Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater.
While there is no definitive talk of winding up on Broadway, other rock operas that have made it to the Great White include The Who’s “Tommy,” while The Who’s “Quadrophenia” is expected to open in London in May. And Green Day is planning to release another rock opera album, “21st Century Breakdown,” in May.
The theatrical version of “American Idiot” includes every song from the album as well as several new songs from “21st Century Breakdown.” The musical follows 19 working-class characters from the suburbs to the city to the Middle East, as they seek redemption in world filled with frustration.
“When I first heard ‘American Idiot,’ I was struck by its innate theatricality,” explained Mayer in a statement. “Here was a new musical drama begging to be staged. Who would have thought that one of the most brutally honest, eloquent, passionate, funny, and poetic theatrical responses to the post 9-11 world would be a Green Day record?”