Billie Joe Armstrong Jumps Into Broadway's American Idiot Starting Jan. 1

News   Billie Joe Armstrong Jumps Into Broadway's American Idiot Starting Jan. 1
 
Here's more heat to melt any remaining New York City blizzard snow: Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong joins the company of American Idiot Jan. 1, beginning a 50-performance run as St. Jimmy at the St. James Theatre. He knows his lines; he wrote the show.

Billie Joe Armstrong
Billie Joe Armstrong Photo by Krissie Fullerton

Note that Armstrong's 2011 performance schedule is not always in consecutive weeks: He'll appear Jan. 1-9, Jan. 18-30 and Feb. 10-27.

Armstrong is the musical's composer and co-author, borrowing all the songs from the Green Day punk album of the same name (and then some). Michael Mayer co-wrote the libretto and directed.

Armstrong made his Broadway debut (playing St. Jimmy, a dark force) in a one-week engagement Sept. 28-Oct. 3, 2010. His presence goosed the box office. That week, the show grossed $1,092,334. The week before that (Sept. 20-26), the gross was $480,566 and 52.6 percent of capacity. The show's weekly average gross has been $740,000 since opening on April 20.

Original Broadway cast member Tony Vincent completed his run as St. Jimmy on Dec. 30.

American Idiot is inspired by Green Day's punk album of the same name, and also uses the disc's B-side tracks and numbers from the album "21st Century Breakdown." A fresh, post-9/11 story has been attached to the songs. Three suburban buddies (John Gallagher Jr., Stark Sands, Michael Esper) take separate paths and encounter love, loss, violence, temptation and understanding along the way. St. Jimmy is a dark force that speaks to Gallagher's Johnny, aka Jesus of Suburbia, who travels to the big city for a new experience. Read Playbill.com's earlier interview with Mayer. The Green Day songs have lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong. Musical supervision, arrangements and orchestrations are by Tom Kitt. Choreography is by Olivier Award winner Steven Hoggett. Christine Jones and Kevin Adams won Tony Awards for scenic design and lighting design, respectively. Read Playbill.com's Brief Encounter interview with Jones.

The cast currently includes Tony Award winner Gallagher (Spring Awakening), Tony Award nominee Sands (Journey's End), Esper (A Man For All Seasons), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Passing Strange), Christina Sajous (The Wild Party) and Jeanna de Waal. The cast also features Declan Bennett, Andrew Call, Gerard Canonico, Miguel Cervantes, Sydney Harcourt, Van Hughes, Brian Charles Johnson, Joshua Kobak, Lorin Latarro, Omar Lopez-Cepero, Leslie McDonel, Chase Peacock, Corbin Reid, Wallace Smith, Theo Stockman, Ben Thompson, Alysha Umphress, Aspen Vincent and Libby Winters.

The show also features costume design by Andrea Lauer, sound design by Olivier and Obie Award-winner Brian Ronan, as well as video design by Darrel Maloney. The music director is Carmel Dean. Lorin Latarro is the associate choreographer.

The performance schedule for American Idiot is Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday at 8 PM, Thursday at 8 PM, Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM & 8 PM and Sunday at 3 PM and 7:30 PM. A performance has been added at 2 PM on Wednesday Jan. 5. There will be no performance at 7:30 PM on Sunday Jan. 9.

Tickets range from $127-$49 and can be purchased at The St. James Box Office or via telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200. Visit www.AmericanIdiotonBroadway.com.

Billie Joe Armstrong, Michael Esper, John Gallagher Jr. and Stark Sands
Billie Joe Armstrong, Michael Esper, John Gallagher Jr. and Stark Sands
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