Due to a late-breaking cast change, tickets to this week’s performances of the rock opera hit “American Idiot” will give audiences some extra bang for their Broadway buck.
Green Day‘s own Billie Joe Armstrong, credited as the tuner’s lyricist and co-author, will join the cast for all eight of the week’s performances, scheduled from September 28 through October 3.
Armstrong will star as the mysterious pill-pusher St. Jimmy while usual cast member Tony Vincent attends to a personal family matter during a two-week leave of absence. After his eight-show run, Armstrong will rejoin his Green Day bandmates for a South American tour that starts in mid-October.
Understudies Joshua Kobak and Andrew Call will alternate the St. Jimmy role from October 5-10, until Vincent resumes performances on October 12. Vincent originated the role of St. Jimmy during “American Idiot’s” premiere at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in September 2009.
Armstrong’s brief addition to the cast could provide a shot of box office adrenaline to the musical. Though generally well-received by critics during its Broadway opening in April, “American Idiot” has struggled with its weekly attendance and receipts.
Capacity at the 1,079-seat St. James Theatre has volleyed around the 60- and 70-percent marks since previews began in March, according to the Broadway League’s weekly reports. Though attendance rarely surpassed that, “American Idiot” did achieve several $800,000-plus grosses through the spring and summer.
But like many other Broadway productions, the show has hit a post-Labor Day slump, with audiences stuck around 64-percent capacity over the past two weeks. During that time, grosses also fell to $430,449 for the week ending September 12, and $487,885 for the week ending September 19.
“American Idiot” is booked into an open-ended run at St. James Theatre, located at 246 West 44th Street in New York, NY. Evening performances are scheduled Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday at 8 p.m., and Sunday at 7:30 p.m. Matinees are staged 2 p.m. on Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Primary tickets are priced from $49 up to $127, with premium seating options ranging from $137 up to $252 through Telecharge.com. More details are available on the production’s official Web site.