The expectations that you walk into the Ahmanson Theatre with will greatly influence your perception of the quality of this production. AMERICAN IDIOT is a compilation of Green Day songs revamped for group singing with something resembling a plot thrown on to link them all together. If you are expecting to see the latest, greatest Broadway musical, you are going to be sorely disappointed. The plot is weak, the character development shallow and the choreography inspired by a drunken punk show mosh pit. Now turn the music up too loud and flash strobe lights directly into the audience until at least a couple of people are nauseous and you’ve got AMERICAN IDIOT the Broadway musical.
However, if you go in expecting to see a new kind of cover band performing your favorite Green Day songs with a little bit of story sprinkled in and spectacular production values, you will have a fantastic evening! The cast is energetic and fun and the costumes and choreography pay true homage to 21st century punk culture. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” sung by Van Hughes – who also plays guitar for the song – is beautiful. The lighting design by Kevin Adams and video/projection design by Darrel Maloney paint the stage beautifully transforming the spacious Ahmanson theatre into an intimate venue like seen on Saturday Night Live.
“Extraordinary Girl” features fantastic wirework choreography with Nicci Claspell and Scott J. Campbell soaring and dancing through the air as they fall in love . . . possibly . . . or it could just be a drug induced delusion. Either way the wirework, like the girl, is extraordinary. As a play AMERICAN IDIOT is esoteric and striving to find meaning. Think RENT without the heart and soul. As a new take on a cover band concert it is a fun time had by all, just remember your earplugs!
Through April 22
Tickets: www.centertheatregroup.org or 213-972-4400