Broadway, Meet Green Day

Inside Track   Broadway, Meet Green Day
 
It's an odd sight to see Donald Trump's perfectly coiffed head bopping up and down to the lyrics "Well, maybe I'm the faggot America/I'm not part of a redneck agenda" or "Cigarettes and ramen and a little bag of dope/I am the son of a bitch and Edgar Allen Poe."

But there he was, in his $3,000 suit, with his gorgeous model wife, jamming out to Green Day's American Idiot at the April 20 Broadway opening night of the new musical. Does this mean hell has frozen over? Nope. It means Green Day has officially gone legit.

Like many suburban teens in the '90s, I became a fan of Green Day while driving my parents' car, blasting the "Dookie" album. (I apparently didn't catch the ridiculousness of a straight-A, overachiever screaming along to "I've I got no motivation/Where is my mot-iva-tion?") Sigh.

Cut to the opening night of American Idiot: Marian Seldes, Edward Norton, Eddie Falco, Tony Kushner, Whoopi Goldberg and "the Donald" in the orchestra, and purple-haired, black-nail-polish-wearing fans screaming in the balcony. At the after-party at Roseland Ballroom, Manhattan's elite chowed-down on corndogs and slushies in the exact spot where the band Infected Mushroom will play songs like "Vicious Delicious." To quote another '90s album I loved: "Isn't it ironic?"

The inner teenager in me, recalling those days in my 1992 red Chrysler LeBaron with white pleather seats liked the show. The grown-up avid theatregoer in me loved it.

The show's director, Michael Mayer, recognized the material's ability to resonate with the legit crowd early on. He told Playbill last month: "The theatre people who came to see the show at Berkeley [Rep in 2009], to my great delight, really dug the show. And a lot of them didn't necessarily know Green Day's music that well."

The music (taken largely from Green Day's best-selling album of the same name) is what got the show to Broadway in the first place. The performers (led by the brilliant John Gallagher Jr.), the spectacle of the in-your-face set, the incredible arrangements by Tom Kitt, and the overall energy that pours from the stage are what will, hopefully, keep it here.

Well, Broadway, here's your chance to wake up your inner angst-ridden teen. If Donald Trump can do it, so can you.

Visit www.americanidiotonbroadway.com for tickets

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