PERTH audiences finally got to see what all the hype is about when award winning musical Green Day’s American Idiot opened at Crown Theatre Perth on Friday night.
Striking a balance between musical and rock concert, the production credits Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong for writing book and lyrics and features all the songs from the punk rock band’s acclaimed 2004 album American Idiot with a few from their 2009 follow up 21st Century Breakdown.
Therefore it was no surprise to find the majority of the eager audience would have been in their teens or 20s when these were released and greeted the musical with welcoming open arms.
Bold, loud, brash and powerful in its music and storytelling, the production follows three mates, Johnny (Linden Furnell), Tunny (Connor Crawford) and Will (Alex Jeans), each looking for meaning in their life while living in a post 9/11 “Trumpian” suburbia.
It is not a musical about the life of Green Day the band and there is no Jersey Boys-esque jukebox musical formula here.
Rather it is a show about dreams, frustrations, lost youth, patriotism and the challenges faced in our current media-saturated world, immediately evident with opening number American Idiot which is joined by a bombardment of American news images flashed up on the screen.
Nothing is safe, from footage of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and references to the Paris Agreement, “No Mexicans”, “Male American Covfefe” and “Will the real genius please stand up” splashed across the screens.
After officially opening on Broadway in 2010, it seems the production is just as, if not even more, relevant in the current political climate.
With little dialogue but loads of sex, drugs and rock and roll, it rockets along at a fast pace with highlights for this reviewer including Boulevard of Broken Dreams, 21 Guns, Wake Me Up When September Ends and St Jimmy starring Grinspoon’s Phil Jamieson as a character of the same name with all the swagger you would expect him to have (Jamieson shares the role with Magic Dirt’s Adalita for the Perth season).
However, the real sing-along moment is left until encore where you will have the time of your life.
Green Day’s American Idiot is on until February 11.