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Critics rave about the American spirit!

posted by Chad Jones on Fri, Sep 18, 2009
in At the theatre

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AI Party 2

The Friday after an opening night is always a big deal because that's the day the reviews come out. In this modern, online world, reviews actually begin to seep out on Thursday, but Friday's still THE BIG DAY.

While the true test of a show is the audience's resonse, it can be gratifying when a critic agrees that what you're doing is pretty wonderful. So here's a little tour through some of the American Idiot reviews and some coverage of the incredible opening-night festivities. Click on the underlined links to read the full story.

Robert Hurwitt of the San Francisco Chronicle raves that American Idiot is "wildly entertaining." He writes: "The music of Green Day practically blasts the lid off Berkeley Rep's Roda Theatre. The cast and creative crew match the pulsating wall of sound for sheer energy and pump it up with Broadway-quality pipes, stage-rattling, thrashing choreography, flying bodies and walls crammed with pulsating video and projected images. Never has the Roda appeared more expansive yet bursting with images and action."

AI Party 3 Karen D'Souza of the Bay Area News Group (a group that includes the San Jose Mercury News and the Oakland Tribune) opines: "The much-anticipated Green Day musical delivers big-time. It really does explode in your heart like a hand grenade...A collaboration between veteran Broadway director Michael Mayer and Billie Joe Armstrong, the Berkeley-bred trio's frontman, the amped-up rock opera is now in its explosive world premiere."

Jesse McKinley of the New York Times  wrote a wonderful piece on the eventful opening night.

Leslie Katz of the SF Examiner says that American Idiot is "opening the world of theater to people who've not experienced its power before."

Jerry Friedman of KGO radio offers, "A wonderful, dream-like show...There's a cast of 19 who are the most energetic performers I've seen, and a nine-piece band located on five different levels...It's going to be some crowded houses. It's going to be a tough ticket to get — but if you can get it, go for it!"

SFist calls American Idiot "a sure-fire crowd pleaser" and continues, "The music is urgent, driving, and loud. Whatever you feel about Green Day, there's a theatricality and consistent narrative element to their music that lends itself well to staging, and it's accomplished in this show with a lot of art and only a little of the cheesiness that many associate with musicals...The cast, led by Tony-winner John Gallagher, Jr., is phenomenal, and the physicality they bring to the show and to Steven Hoggett's punk-esque choreography deserves a lot of praise. The sets, lighting, video, and projection design are all's always cool to see a work as ambitious as this in its early stages and to be able to say you were there at the begining."

KFOG's Peter Finch did a terrific interview on opening night with Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer.

KCBS says: "You may not want to be an American Idiot, but Berkeley Rep is banking on you wanting to see one.

And finally, Laurence Scott of KNTV, the Bay Area's NBC station, got some fantastic quotes from Billie Joe and his bandmates, Mike Dirnt and Tré Cool:

Top photo: Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong, his wife Adrienne,
American Idiot cast member Theo Stockman.
Bottom photo: Green Day drummer Tre Cool tries out the dance floor.

Photos by Cheshire Isaacs


goddamnit i love this band.

lsdkfjs | Fri, Sep 18, 2009

Is American Idiot appropriate for age 12 audiences?

M Clarke | Sun, Sep 20, 2009

goddamit, me 2

bidebuhuh | Sat, Oct 3, 2009

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