By Kenneth Jones
28 Jul 2009
On July 28, Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California announced the creative team for the September-October world premiere of American Idiot, inspired by Green Day's Grammy Award-winning album of the same name and directed by Tony Award winner Michael Mayer, who collaborated with Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong on the project's story.
Featuring the music of Green Day and the lyrics of Armstrong, American Idiot will feature the work of Olivier Award-winning choreographer Steven Hoggett, Tony nominee Christine Jones (sets), two-time Tony winner Kevin Adams (lights), Baryshnikov fellow Andrea Lauer (costumes) and Obie Award winner Brian Ronan (sound), as well as video designer Darrel Maloney.
Berkeley Rep will present the show in association with Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman, the lead producers of Spring Awakening, Sept. 4-Oct. 11 at the Rep's Roda Theatre.
No casting has been announced. Tickets are available now at berkeleyrep.org as part of a subscription to the season, which includes six other shows. The remaining seats go on sale to the public on Aug. 16, starting at $32 — or half that for anyone under 30 years of age.
"We've been working with Michael Mayer and the show's creative team for quite some time, so we know how super-talented all of them are," Armstrong said in a statement. "Each and every one of these people has gone above and beyond for this show, and we can't wait for our fans to see it."
Mayer stated, "It's an incredible experience to create a modern rock opera with one of the most innovative and clever bands in the world. We are excited to put this show in front of a sophisticated Bay Area audience."
"American Idiot is an iconic rock album from a band that hails from our hometown," stated Tony Taccone, artistic director of Berkeley Rep. "It requires a singularly talented creative team to re-imagine this music for a traditional theatre setting. We are proud to collaborate with Green Day, Michael Mayer, and a small army of artists to bring American Idiot to the stage. This is an ambitious project, and I believe it will showcase the full measure of Berkeley Rep's resources and talents."
Green Day won two Grammys (Best Rock Album and Record of the Year) for its multi-platinum "American Idiot," which sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. Director Mayer's Spring Awakening won eight Tony Awards in 2007.
According to the Rep, "American Idiot follows working-class characters from the suburbs to the city to the Middle East, as they seek redemption in a world filled with frustration — an exhilarating journey borne along by Green Day's electrifying songs. This high-octane show includes every song from the album, as well as several new songs from '21st Century Breakdown.' With an onstage band and 19 young performers, American Idiot receives its world premiere at Berkeley Rep, the Tony-winning playhouse that launched last year's provocative rock musical Passing Strange."
Michael Mayer (director) received a 2007 Tony Award, as well as Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards, for the Tony Award-winning musical Spring Awakening. His other Broadway credits include After the Fall; An Almost Holy Picture; The Lion in Winter; 'night, Mother; Side Man (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards); Thoroughly Modern Millie (Drama Desk Award and Tony nomination); Triumph of Love; Uncle Vanya; A View From the Bridge (Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards and Tony nomination); and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Tony nomination). His Off-Broadway credits include 10 Million Miles, America Dreaming, Antigone in New York, Baby Anger, The Credeaux Canvas, Everyday Rapture, Hundreds of Hats, Missing Persons, Our House, Round About, Stupid Kids, True History and Real Adventures and View of the Dome.
He also directed the national tour of Angels in America (Jefferson and Carbonell Awards) and the films "A Home at the End of the World" and "Flicka."
Steven Hoggett (choreographer) is co-founder and artistic director of Frantic Assembly, directing and choreographing all of its productions. His recent Frantic work includes Dirty Wonderland, Hymns, Othello, (pool) no water and Stockholm. Hoggett served as assistant director and choreographer for Black Watch with the National Theatre of Scotland, earning the 2009 Olivier Award for Best Choreography. The show won many awards and enjoyed two world tours, including two runs at St. Ann's Warehouse in New York. He has worked on several other NTS productions as well, including 365, The Bacchae and The Wolves in the Wall. His credits as a choreographer and movement director in his native Britain also include Bare Bones Dance Company, the National Theatre, Paines Plough Theatre Company, ROH2 (the Royal Opera House in Linbury), the Stephen Joseph Theatre, and the West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Tom Kitt (music supervisor/arrangements/orchestrations) composed the new musical Next to Normal, which netted him two Tony Awards (Best Original Score with Brian Yorkey and Best Orchestrations with Michael Starobin) and the Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Score. As a composer, his other credits include the Broadway production of High Fidelity and the Off-Broadway production of From Up Here at Manhattan Theatre Club. As a musical director, conductor, and arranger for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows, his credits include 13, Debbie Does Dallas, Everyday Rapture, Hair, Laugh Whore and Urban Cowboy. He is the leader of the Tom Kitt Band, and his original songs have been featured in film and TV.
Christine Jones (scenic design) earned a Tony nomination for Spring Awakening, and also designed the Broadway production of The Green Bird, directed by Julie Taymor. Her Off-Broadway credits include The Book of Longing at Lincoln Center Festival, based on the poems of Leonard Cohen with music by Philip Glass; Burn This at Signature Theatre Company, starring Ed Norton and Dallas Roberts; Debbie Does Dallas at Jane Street Theatre; Much Ado About Nothing at The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival; and Nocturne at New York Theatre Workshop. She has also created scenery for regional theatres across America and for operas, such as The Elephant Man at the Minnesota Opera, Giulio Cesare at Houston Grand Opera, and Lucia de Lammermoor at New York City Opera. She is the artistic director of Theatre for One, a space inspired by peep show booths and confessionals, which can be seen at theatreforone.com.
Kevin Adams (lighting design) designed Berkeley Rep's production of Passing Strange, which moved to Broadway in 2008. He received a Tony Award in 2007 for his work on Spring Awakening, another Tony in 2008 for The 39 Steps, and two more Tony nominations in 2009 for Hair and Next to Normal. His other Broadway credits include An Almost Holy Picture featuring Kevin Bacon, Eve Ensler's The Good Body, John Leguizamo's Sexaholix and Take Me Out. In 2002, he earned an Obie Award for Sustained Excellence, honoring his designs for Off-Broadway shows such as Magnetic Fields' 69 Love Songs and the original production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. His work has also been seen at the Donmar Warehouse, the Kennedy Center, New York City Opera, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and in London's West End, Japan, and Korea.
Andrea Lauer (costume design) created costumes for The Butcher of Baraboo at Second Stage Theatre, Elephant Dreams at The Joyce Theatre, and Status Entropus, a multimedia dance performance presented in New York City and Thessaloniki, Greece. She also designed New York University's productions of Hair and Our Lady of 121st Street, as well as numerous shows for the Alley Theatre including After the Fall, And Then There Were None, Black Comedy, The Crucible, Fully Committed, Glengarry Glen Ross, Proof, Steel Magnolias, The Thirteenth Chair, The Woman in Black, Wait Until Dark and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Lauer’s upcoming work includes Or with Women's Project and a new ballet for the Trey McIntyre Experience. She is a recipient of the Baryshnikov Fellowship and holds an MFA from Tisch School of the Arts at NYU.
Brian Ronan (sound designer) has a long list of Broadway credits that includes 1776, All Shook Up, The Boys from Syracuse, Cabaret, Curtains, Fortune's Fool, Grease, Grey Gardens, Little Me, The Look of Love, Master Harold… and the Boys, Next to Normal, Pajama Game, The Rainmaker, Spring Awakening, State Fair, The Tale of the Allergist's Wife, Triumph of Love, Twelve Angry Men and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Off Broadway, he designed Saved and Bug, for which he won Obie and Lucille Lortel Awards.
As the creative director and co-founder of Atmosphere 13, Darrel Maloney (video and projections designer) produced, designed, and developed motion graphics for broadcast, commercials, film, and special media. His work has been seen on HBO Undercover's "Crank: Made in America," MTV's "Summer Gig" and "Martha Stewart's Christmas Special" on CBS. Maloney holds a BA and MFA from NYU, and he has designed sets and lights for numerous productions in New York, in Europe, and at regional theatres across the United States.