In his younger days, Armstrong actually did sing traditional show music — including George M. Cohan songs, at nursing homes — but since that time, he's gained international acclaim and celebrity as the mascara-lined, spike-haired king of 21st-century punk. Music for American Idiot is by Green Day, with lyrics by Armstrong, who co-wrote the libretto with director Michael Mayer.
In the show, inspired by Green Day's album of the same name, Armstrong plays anarchic St. Jimmy, the apparent alter-ego of Johnny (aka Jesus of Suburbia, played by John Gallagher, Jr.). St. Jimmy leads Johnny into darkness and temptation.
Armstrong will stay around Broadway's St. James Theatre to Oct. 3 — and don't expect an extension.
Immediately following this engagement, Armstrong will join Green Day in Caracas, Venezuela on Oct. 8, to launch their South American Tour. Original Broadway cast member and current "St. Jimmy," Tony Vincent, will resume performances on Oct. 12 following a leave of absence due to a personal family matter. Vincent’s understudies, Joshua Kobak and Andrew Call, will cover the role Oct. 5-10.
This is a rare case of a superstar of modern rock stepping into a role in show for which he also wrote the songs. As St. Jimmy, Armstrong will sing "Last Night on Earth," "St. Jimmy," "Know Your Enemy" and (spoiler alert!) "The Death of St. Jimmy." Producers confirmed the Armstrong casting on Sept. 26 following days of rumors about the appearance.
The playing schedule for American Idiot is Tuesday at 7 PM, Wednesday 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. Tickets range from $127-$49 and can be purchased at The St. James Box Office or via telecharge.com (212) 239-6200. Visit www.AmericanIdiotonBroadway.com.
Co-librettists Armstrong and Michael Mayer reconceived the hit Green Day album as the tale of three pals from suburbia who take separate paths in a post-9/11 world. Tony Award winner Mayer directs the production, which has orchestrations by Tom Kitt, and choreography by Steven Hoggett.
Tony Award winner Gallagher (Spring Awakening) stars alongside Tony Award nominee Stark Sands (Journey's End), Michael Esper (A Man For All Seasons), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Passing Strange), Christina Sajous (The Wild Party), Mary Faber (Avenue Q) and Tony Vincent (Jesus Christ Superstar). 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.
American Idiot features Tony Award winning scenic design by Christine Jones (Spring Awakening), costume design by Andrea Lauer, Tony Award winning lighting designer Kevin Adams (Hair), sound designer Brian Ronan (Cabaret), as well as video design by Darrel Maloney. The music director is Carmel Dean; Lorin Latarro is the associate choreographer.
Vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tré Cool surfaced from working-class backgrounds into the underground punk scene in Berkeley, CA. Following the release of the albums "1039/Smooth Out Slappy Hours" and "Kerplunk," they hit it big with 1994's pop-punk disc "Dookie," which eventually sold 15 million copies and earned the band its first Grammy Award. Their studio albums include "Insomniac," "Nimrod" and "Warning," plus their landmark 2004 album "American Idiot," followed by "21st Century Breakdown," which was nominated for three 2010 Grammy Awards and won Best Rock Album. The musical American Idiot includes material from "21st Century Breakdown" — the songs "Know Your Enemy" and "21 Guns."
For more information about the band, visit www.greenday.com.