To punk purists, Green Day has never been an easy sell. Emerging from the northern California punk scene of the early '90s, the band quickly achieved mainstream success with the 1994 release of Dookie. But while the album's stomping riffs and sneering lyrics fit the punk attitude, the glossy, radio-friendly production was cited by cynics as evidence of crassly calculated commercialization. The subsequent decade, however, proved the trio's defiant will to stretch their sound in exploratory directions, a trait that flourished with 2004's American Idiot. A rock opera more reminiscent of the Who than Black Flag, the album features a conceptual narrative of youthful disillusion in the aftermath of 9/11 that brought Green Day renewed popularity, and a dash of critical respect. Considering the album's lyrical persona and bombastic melodies, a musical adaptation wasn't entirely surprising. Less expected were the accolades that greeted the Broadway premiere, including a rave from the New York Times. By adapting the album's raging angst to suit a choreographed ensemble, while still managing to preserve the intensity of the original music, the production has been heralded as one of the most vitally scorching musicals in contemporary theater. Featuring members of the original Broadway cast and Tony Award-winning scenic and lighting designs, American Idiot looks to win over even the most jaded skeptics...at least until the inevitable movie adaptation is announced. (Photo by Doug Hamilton)
Tuesdays-Thursdays, 7:30 p.m.; Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 p.m.; Sun., Feb. 26, 1 & 6:30 p.m. Starts: Feb. 21. Continues through Feb. 26, 2012
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