Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT Opens for Pay-What-You-Can Tonight at 8pm

by RoxyRegionalTheatre on April 29, 2016

“Jack, Jack, Jack
Head in a sack
The house is getting colder …”

I sing those Sondheim lyrics every time our postman Jack Deacon drops off the mail. I doubt he knows the song is from Into the Woods, nor does it really matter.

I know Jack to be a good father, for he mentors his daughter with her snow cone business during the Downtown Market each summer. (The banana flavor is my favorite.)

Jack has never shown an interest in the theatre — and that’s okay, too — but last week he asked if Green Day’s American Idiot was that Green Day.

I said, “Which Green Day?” He replied, “The one I grew up with.” Jack is forty, and he said he has been a Green Day fan since the ’90s.

I did the math in my head, and the longevity was a good sign. Jack’s not a regular theatregoer, but he knew Green Day and wanted to know more about the show, since he is well aware of their albums, especially American Idiot. I took a great deal of hope from that brief encounter — hope of other fans, additional ticket sales and jam-packed audiences.

I grew up knowing My Fair Lady, Oklahoma and West Side Story. From then on, I knew and had every Broadway musical LP through Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon and RENT and many London West End musicals as well — Salad Days, Good Companions and Robert and Elizabeth — many which I had worn white from overuse while testing my sainted parents’ patience, singing along with Rex Harrison and Marni Nixon.

Evita and Jesus Christ Superstar started out as albums, like Green Day’s American Idiot, which a director, like Michael Mayer, turned into a staged production.

Michael Mayer, American Idiot‘s adapter and original director, says the show is “brutally honest, eloquent, passionate, funny and a poetic theatrical response to the post 9-11 world” as well as a “work of passion, vision and fierce intelligence” which seems “like the heartbeat of a generation.”

Green Day’s American Idiot — presented in partnership with CDE Lightband and featuring Joseph Spinelli as Johnny, Charles Robinson as Tunny, Ryan Alvarado as Will, Ryan Bowie as St. Jimmy, Alyssa V. Gomez as Whatsername, Allison Kelly as Heather, and Sarita Amani Nash as Extraordinary Girl, Patrick Beasley, Michael C. Brown, Allison Ferebee, Leigh Martha Klinger, Emily Rourke and Chris Shore, along with Tom Thayer on keyboard, Jarrod Jackson on guitar, John Waddle on bass and Thad Wallus on drums — opens tonight (Friday) at 8:00pm for our traditional pay-what-you-can preview. All tickets remaining at the box office will go on sale at 7:30pm this evening for a $5 minimum donation.

Performances continue on April 30, May 6, 7, 13, 14 at 8:00pm and May 5, 11, 12 at 7:00pm. Please note this production is recommended for mature audiences only.

Thrill Me: The Leopold & Loeb Story (recommended for mature audiences only) plays upstairs in theotherspace this Monday and Tuesday, May 2 and 3, at 7:00pm.

See you at the theatre!

[John McDonald]

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