Sunday, April 7, 2013
Rose and I ventured back into the land of teenage angst, rebellion, and post-9/11confusion by attending a performance of American Idiot last night.
Based on the 2004 punk rock album by Green Day of the same name, the Broadway show was pretty much what you would expect: sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Actually, a lot of loud rock and roll, and some pretty cool visual effects that were dedicated to an unrelenting, full-throated sensory experience. It didn’t take long for a few patrons to walk out. I understand, the strobes bothered Rose more than me, but really, it’s Green Day... What were you expecting, My Fair Lady?
We had a good time. It was a distraction, a quick getaway from our reality of the moment. I thought it was Hair on heroin, the story a little more familiar than I expected it to be. I like rebellion and angst every once in a while. The air was crystal clear, and could’ve used some smoke--another sign of the times we live. We had good seats, I was reasonably comfortable, which is rarely the case—most concert halls weren't built with tall people in mind.
Alex Nee (“Rent,” The Who’s Tommy”) handled the constant demand of the lead role handily. He looked like a Billie Joe Armstrong clone. And the rest of the cast were entertaining and talented, too. The show had no intermission, and was a 94 minute assault of constant movement, and a whole lot of dancing. You really had to settle back and let the story come to you instead of trying to engage it. The show was a marathon, fitting for the youthful fits of rage, depression, fear, and joy; all aptly portrayed. We all come home at some point, in one way or another. It's called growing up.
We wouldn’t have gone to show if were not included in the season package we bought last year (See Operation Get Out of the House). But I’m glad we went. It was a nice change of pace to see something current, modern, and relevant. I love the classics, but this show is the future of Broadway, and the distant horizon looks healthy to me. But I'm sitting in the middle of a fly-over state, watching a road version of a past success--what do I know?
We live in angry times, but in the end, it’s love and hope that keeps us going. That’s universal, and no matter the times, modern to Medieval to the 1950s (West Side Story is next), the struggle is the same, and really, never changes: Love wins in the end.