July 7th, 2012

piranha - sleek cigarette chic.

Musical: American Idiot

Seanie and I went up to San Francisco to see Green Day's musical, American Idiot. I wish I could say that I loved it, because I really enjoyed the album American Idiot, but I thought that the show just failed on so many levels.

If you go to the show expecting a linear plot, you'll be disappointed. This is less a story than a glorified Green Day tribute concert; yes, there are characters and in theory, we follow them through their lives - but these guys are not fully realized individuals with thoughts and feelings. No, our three leads - Johnny, Will and Tunny - are simply three figureheads, three symbols of youth gone to waste. In fact, I'm not sure that their names are ever spoken on stage; they may only be named in the handbill. The three boys want to escape middle America; one goes to the city and fades out in a drug-induced haze, one joins the army and practically gets blown away, and one succumbs to his pregnant girlfriend and becomes a couch potato loser with a kid. But there's virtually no dialogue; the story is told in pantomime to a soundtrack of Green Day songs. Maybe this works for you - but me? I need motivations and crackling conversations to keep me in my seat.

Green Day songs have certainly never sounded better- I just wish greater effort had been made to turn this into a musical. I mean, goodness knows that We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia have laughable plots and paper-thin characters, but at least they tried. American Idiot does not.