Just over a month after he made his Broadway debut, Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong announced his plans to step back into a starring role in the musical “American Idiot.”
Armstrong will once again play St. Jimmy for a total of 50 performances in early 2011, beginning January 1 and continuing through February 27. The musician made his stage debut as St. Jimmy for just eight shows from September 28 through October 3.
The veteran pop-punk star will not appear in “American Idiot” during the weeks of January 11-16 and February 1-9. It is unclear who will play St. Jimmy for those weeks’ regularly scheduled performances. Role originator Tony Vincent, whose break from the show earlier this season led to Armstrong’s much-heralded stage debut, ends his run with the show December 30.
During Armstrong’s initial run as St. Jimmy, “American Idiot” drew a gross over $1 million for the first and only time in the production’s Broadway history. Audiences were down to 53 percent capacity for the week ending September 26, according to the Broadway League. But in the week ending October 3 — Armstrong’s debut week — audience capacities surged to 93 percent.
For the acclaimed but struggling production, Armstrong’s appearance marked a 41 percent increase. The box office grosses rocketed from $480,566 up to a production peak of $1,092,334 when the rocker graced the St. James stage.
But since Armstrong’s departure from the show, audiences have fallen back into the range of 40- to 50-percent capacity, while grosses have volleyed from lows of $383,025 (the week ending October 31) up to highs of $600,092 (the week ending November 28). Armstrong’s 2011 return as St. Jimmy could mean several more boffo box office weeks for the punk-rock tuner.
“American Idiot” opened in April 2010 at St. James Theatre and is based on the Green Day album of the same name. Armstrong is credited as the production’s lyricist and co-author.
Primary tickets are priced from $49 up to $137, with premium seating options ranging from $137 up to $199 through Telecharge.com. More details on Armstrong’s upcoming schedule with “American Idiot” are available on the production’s official Web site.