American Idiot - Review The Tony-Award Winning Play

I am a fan of most of Green Day’s songs – but not so much in this energetic musical with barely a few spoken words.  AMERICAN IDIOT is at Chicago’s Cadillac Palace Theatre (151 West Randolph Street) for a one-week run.  The winner of two Tony Awards overflows with popular and expressive Green Day hit songs, which become the play’s narrative voice.

Based on Green Day’s hit 2004 album, AMERICAN IDIOT has already been a 2010 Tony Award-nominated Best
Musical and 2010 Grammy Award winner for Best Musical Show Album.  The book is by lead singer, Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer, who is also the director. Tom Hulce is the producer of this national tour.

The cast kicks up many interesting dance steps as the play revolves around three anger-filled teenagers – Johnny (Alex Nee), Will  (Casey O’Farrell)  and Tunny  (Thomas Hettrick), who are stuck in suburbia  searching for the true meaning of their lives post 9-11.

The talented cast also includes Trent Saunders as  St. Jimmy joined by lead female stars including Alyssa DiPalma as the talented Whatsername, Jenna Rubaii  as The Extraordinary Girl and Kennedy Caughell as  Heather.  Director Michael Mayer said he and the rest of the creative team “couldn’t be happier with the stellar group of actors we’ve

Kudos to the Tony Award-winning scenic design by Christine Jones, which features many constantly changing television monitors in the background mirroring the characters’ thoughts and issues about the world they live in.  Others in the creative team who excel include the choreographer Steven Hoggett; lighting designer Kevin Adams; and orchestrations and arrangements s by Pulitzer Prize-winner Tom Kitt.

Perhaps this Broadway musical is aimed at a much younger audience than my current chronological age, based on observing the barely-30-something crowd generously applauding between the major singing-dancing-gyrating musical sets.  If you’re young at heart, this show might just call to you.   Also, it does help if you have perfect hearing, because the loudly sung lyrics are often hard to discern.


Cadillac Palace Theatre is at
151 West Randolph Street.

For more information, visit


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