Davey Havok, Justin Guarini, Van Hughes Will Be New Leads of Broadway's American Idiot
By Andrew Gans
The Broadway musical American Idiot will feature several new leads beginning March 1 at the St. James Theatre.
Davey Havok, who is the lead singer of the rock band AFI, will step into the role of St. Jimmy. He will succeed Green Day front man Billie Joe Armstrong and play a two-week run in the rock musical. (Grammy and Academy Award Award-winning singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge also recently played a week-long stint as the dark alter ego known as St. Jimmy.)
The Idiot cast will also welcome "American Idol" finalist and recent Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown star Justin Guarini to the role of Will (succeeding Michael Esper); Van Hughes (9 to 5, Hairspray) to the role of Johnny (succeeding Tony winner John Gallagher Jr.); and Libby Winters, who made her Broadway debut in the ensemble of American Idiot, to the role of the Extraordinary Girl (succeeding Christina Sajous).
Sajous will play her final performance Feb. 26; Armstrong, Esper, Gallagher Jr. will conclude their runs Feb. 27.
"I couldn't be more excited that Davey is joining the American Idiot cast to play St. Jimmy. Not only is he a good friend of mine, but I feel that he also brings the perfect energy and air of menace to the part," stated composer/co-author and lead singer of Green Day Billie Joe Armstrong. "The audience is going to freak out."
"Justin blew us away in his audition and I am thrilled to have him join the company of American Idiot," added director and co-book writer Michael Mayer. "And, of course, I’m proud and excited to have Van and Libby, original Broadway cast members who have poured their blood, sweat and tears into the show over the past year, move into these lead roles."
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 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. 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.
Michael Mayer directs.
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 $137-$49 and can be purchased at The St. James box office or Telecharge.com at (212) 239-6200.
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