OB Playhouse Presents
Book and Lyrics by: Billie Joe Armstrong
Book by: Michael Mayer
Music and Lyrics by: Green Day
Directed by: Juztine Tuazon
Choreography by: Michael Mizerany
Additional Choreography by: Juztine Tuazon
Music Direction by: Kirk Valles
Produced by: OB Theatre Company
"Tuazon uses every inch of the funky space, with performers climbing metal columns, dancing through the house, staging a hot, heavy-breathing sex scene between the two seat sections, and briefly spreading a gigantic sheet over the heads of the audience."
- Pat Launer, KSDS-FM
First off, let’s talk about the plot. These young adults feel stifled by the apathy of their suburban surroundings so they leave town to find something to believe in. Spoiler alert, most of them don’t find it, so they return home. That’s pretty much the story. This is not a hero’s journey. I didn’t want to do a show about punk rock. I wanted to use this show to let punk rock ask the questions me and my generation continually struggle to ask. In the new millennium, where media and content can come from anywhere, how does someone find something to believe in when being bombarded with extreme amounts of useless information? And do those beliefs even matter if we don’t do anything about them? Billy Joe Armstrong describes his groundbreaking masterpiece, American Idiot, not as a concept album but a, “Punk Rock Opera”. What the fuck does that mean? Like Hair did 41 years before, American Idiot not only brought a new kind of music to Broadway audiences but also a new take on non-traditional story-telling, one where poetry and movement guide us in way that traditional dialogue would inhibit. On a clear, sunny September day in Manhattan, at 8:46 am American Airlines flight 11, a Boeing 767 with 92 people aboard, was deliberately flown into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Everything we have done as a nation has been defined by the collective trauma of September 11, 2001, whether we realize it or not. This trauma has lodged itself into the very skeletal system of our culture and we continue to struggle to find healing. American Idiot was and is such a smart response to the irrational mindset that comes from trauma and reminds us that we can not lose our humanity in the fight for what we believe. Working on a piece like this requires this team to stretch themselves in ways that have been truly remarkable to see. This cast in particular has had to push themselves both physically and emotionally, and for that I am truly grateful.