Sex, Drugs, and the Sound of Hysteria: Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT at CTC in April 2015.

by Patricia Bradford

City Theater Company closes out the 21st season this April with the Delaware premiere of Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT. The two-time Tony Award winner is based on Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum album of the same name—a rock opera following three lifelong friends as they search for meaning in a post 9/11 world. From the suburbs to the city, the trio navigates their early twenties via the punk rock music of Green Day, with lyrics by lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong and a book by Armstrong and Michael Mayer. Music and multimedia collide to create a fascinating production.

Hits from the show include “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “21 Guns,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “Holiday,” and “American Idiot.” Director Michael Gray’s approach to the piece is true to the material and consistent with CTC’s in-your-face style. “The melodies are incredible—each song has this incredible hook and raw emotionality that lures you in. They weave together to create a compelling story that deserves an honest and direct telling. Our audience will experience the show in an 80-seat black box with the action happening all around them, and the music with its strong melodies and rhythms wrapping around them and running through them.”

Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT stars veteran CTC actor Brendan Sheehan in the role of Johnny. It’s a part he’s been unconsciously preparing to play for years. “Green Day has been a staple on my stereo for most of my life. I remember sneaking my older brother’s copy of ‘Dookie’ from his room and blasting it over my headphones when I was a little kid,” Sheehan says. “These guys are basically rock royalty at this point. They are one of the best live acts that I’ve ever seen on stage. It’s really an honor to be playing and singing these songs as part of such a cool project.”

Unlike Sheehan, Gray is a newcomer to the Green Day experience. “Green Day was not a part of my adolescence or college experience—way after my time,” says Gray. “I didn’t even see the Broadway production of the show. About a year ago, someone mentioned that it would be a great fit for CTC, so I downloaded the album and went for a run. I came back from my run and downloaded as many Green Day albums as I could! By the time I heard the original cast recording, I knew this was a show for CTC. The score is perhaps the most melodic and compelling of the past 10 years. And it’s just right to close out our 21st season celebration.”

Green Day’s AMERICAN IDIOT stars Will Brock, Ben Deane, Dylan Geringer, Jake Glassman, Jeff Hunsicker, Leslie Kelly, George Murphy, Alex Orgera, Emma Orr, Amanda Panrock, Frank Schierloh, Brendan Sheehan, Grace Tarves, Adam Wahlberg. Directed by Michael Gray. Music direction by Joe Trainor. Choreography by Dawn Morningstar and Tommy Fisher-Klein. Scenic and lighting design by Vicki Neal and Richard Kendrick. Costume design by Lauren Peters and Kerry Kristine McElrone.

TICKET DETAILS: General admission $25. Limited VIP seating $40 and includes complimentary drinks, choice seating, and cast-signed program. Production runs Friday, April 10 through Saturday, April 25, 2015. All shows 8:00 p.m. except one 2:00 p.m. matinee Sunday, April 12. All shows at The Black Box at Opera Delaware Studios, 4 South Poplar Street, Wilmington, DE 19805. Tickets available now at ###

AMERICAN IDIOT is presented through special arrangement with Music Theater International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 W. 54th Street, New York, NY 10019. Phone 212-541-4684 Fax: 212-397-4684

Theater/Organization CITY THEATER COMPANY
Theater/Organization Website: http://WWW.CITY-THEATER.ORG

Theater/Organization Address: 4 S. POPLAR STREET WILMINGTON, Delaware 19806 (Map It)
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