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The Creative Issue – News for Creatives | December 14, 2018

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Don't wanna be an American Idiot

Don’t wanna be an American Idiot
Auran Abraham

Remember your teen years? When rebellion against authority was tantamount to the control you and your friends wrested from the establishment, to enjoy your lives, and create your stories.

For many, the soundtrack of these tumultuous years featured Green Day prominently, and if those years fell around 2004, the feature album for the anti-establishment sentiment was probably Green Day’s American Idiot.

Based on the album of the same name, Green Day’s American Idiot premiered on Broadway in April of 2010 and has been thrilling audiences with a pulse-pounding punk rock soundtrack, and still relevant story, which to at least some extent, will be relatable to the majority of audiences.

The latest Australian produced and performed version has updated the original album’s post-9/11 sentiments of governmental misdirection breeding resentment in disaffected youth to (at times during the show, very blatant and on-the-nose) anti-Trump government sentiment for current audiences, and shows that these themes are near timeless.

The production features a semi-rotating cast for the part of St. Jimmy, sometimes played by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, when on Broadway. The current Australian iteration featuring, Phil Jamieson of Grinspoon, Adalita Srsen and Sarah McLeod of The Superjesus. The initial performance itself featured Sarah McLeod and she has not lost any of the presence and talent she displays in her music, in her transition to theatrical musical.

The main cast of Ben Bennett as Johnny, disillusioned and breaking, Connor Crawford, bored but patriotic, and Alex Jeans, trapped and frustrated, all display their prowess in musical theatre to a fantastic extent, performing believably emotionally weighted versions of the original songs from the musical’s namesake.

The supporting cast is, at times, equally brilliant when they’re on stage, Phoebe Panaretos as the love interest of Johnny, “Whatsername”, displaying an incredibly powerful and angelic voice talent, as well as the talented Kaylah Attard as “Extraordinary Girl” who makes a surprising and visually spectacular entrance, and Ashleigh Taylor whose emotive movement and acting brings an outstanding emotional weight to her performance. Not to mention the dazzling choreography and vocal prowess of the entire ensemble cast.

The production is charged with emotional punch that becomes a warped reflection of everyone’s life story, as the show continues its characters grow with it, from disaffected youth, through the vice and addiction of St. Jimmy, the feelings of loss that wound the characters, finding the way back home, and finishing on a bittersweet note of remaining scars and living beyond them.

American Idiot is a musical for anyone who has ever lived a life or created a story in someone’s memories.

Ben ‘Dobbo’ Dobbins
from Triple M’s THE RUSH HOUR will be joining in on Tuesday’s show (17/04/18), for the final song Good Riddance (Time of your Life), so grab your tickets now!

What: Green Day’s American Idiot
Where: Playhouse Theatre|Queensland Performing Arts Centre
Grey St & Melbourne Street, South Brisbane QLD 4101
When: FRI 13 APRIL – 21 APRIL
How Much: $89 – $149*
Website: Here

Other info:
Suitable for ages 15+.
Contains coarse language
Simulated drug use

Images Supplied