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"Really loud, really raw, really worth it . . ." – Judith Newmark, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Some insanely entertaining and thought-provoking musical theater is happening at New Line Theatre..."
– Donald Miller, Alton Telegraph

"This is a real hit, that genuinely rocks the house!" – Chris Gibson, BroadwayWorld

"A close, sweaty show that feels alive at all times." – Paul Friswold, Riverfront Times

"So many moments of outstanding vocal artistry come roaring out at us in the dark."
– Richard Green, TalkinBroadway

"A sensory onslaught that flashes with brilliance. . .
A nihilistic-tinged roller-coaster ride that entertains at every turn."
– Tina Farmer, KDHX

"New Line Theatre’s art provocateurs shake the rafters in this explosive regional premiere."
– Lynn Venhaus, Belleville News-Democrat

Don't wanna be an American idiot.
Don't want a nation under the new mania
And can you hear the sound of hysteria?
The subliminal mind fuck America.

Welcome to a new kind of tension.
All across the alienation.
Where everything isn't meant to be okay.
Television dreams of tomorrow.
We're not the ones who're meant to follow.
For that's enough to argue.

Well maybe I'm the faggot America.
I'm not a part of a redneck agenda.
Now everybody do the propaganda.
And sing along to the age of paranoia.
          — American Idiot

New Line continued its 25th season with the powerful,
high-octane, rock fable AMERICAN IDIOT, based on the powerhouse album by Green Day, a scorching attack on what they saw as the hypocrisy and moral evils of the Bush Administration after the attacks of Sept. 11, as well as the increasingly submissive nature of the American public.

The score includes every song from Green Day's hit album American Idiot, as well as several songs from their follow-up release, 21st Century Breakdown, with music by Green Day, lyrics by frontman Billie Joe Armstrong, a book by Armstrong and Michael Mayer, and musical arrangements and orchestrations by Broadway composer Tom Kitt (High Fidelity, Next to Normal, If/Then). The Toronto Star called the show "the first great musical of the 21st century."

Lost and disconnected in a post-9/11 America, three friends, Johnny, Tunny and Will, struggle to find meaning in their lives. The three men flee the constraints of their hometown for the thrills of city life, but their paths quickly diverge as Tunny enters the armed forces, Will is called back home to attend to a pregnant girlfriend, and Johnny descends into an urban underworld, following a seductive love interest and a deadly new friendship. As each of the three learns to navigate his "alienation," we see in them America's struggle to find a new path in this new millennium, after a long period of darkness.

The New Line cast included Evan Fornachon (Johnny), Brendan Ochs (Will), Frederick Rice (Tunny), Chris Kernan (St. Jimmy), Sarah Porter (Whatsername), Larissa White (Heather), Sicily Mathenia (Extraordinary Girl), Kevin Corpuz, Cameisha Cotton, Clayton Humburg, Jeremy Hyatt, Omega Jones, Sean Michael, Ariel Saul, Tanya Sapp, and Gabe Taylor. American Idiot was directed by Scott Miller and Mike Dowdy, with scenic design by Rob Lippert, costume design by Sarah Porter, sound design by Benjamin Rosemann, and lighting design by Kenneth Zinkl.

Of the original album, Spin magazine said, "A decade and a half after the first Green Day record, the boys from Berkeley grew up and got angry. So what did they do? Recorded a Bush-bashing rock opera featuring nine-minute songs — and ended up with their biggest smash in years."
Charles Isherwood of The New York Times declared the stage musical "invigorating, thrilling, emotionally charged, and as moving as any Broadway musical I've seen this year!" Rolling Stone said of the musical, "American Idiot knows no limits -- it's a global knockout. Blows your mind while it blows the roof off. Looking for a groundbreaking musical event? You just found it."

Want to explore more? We recommend:

The original cast album of the show and the Green Day album, and the show's vocal selections

The excellent documentary, Broadway Idiot, about the creation of the show

The Stage Grok interview with Michael Mayer, about the creation of American Idiot the Musical.

A great book, Green Day: American Idiots and the New Punk Explosion, by Ben Myers

The New Liners' American Idiot blogs

New Line guitarist Aaron Doerr's interviews with Broadway guitarist Alec Berlin about playing American Idiot, part one and part two

A Spin magazine article about the original American Idiot album

A song-by-song analysis of the original American Idiot album, and the
21st Century Breakdown album, from Genius.com

A great article, "United States of Rage and Love," on the PopMatters website, analyzing the original album, song by song

Another very detailed, song-by-song analysis of the original American Idiot album

A great article called "What is Punk?"

The book, Combat Rock: A History of Punk From It's Origins to the Present, by Lora Greene

The book Despite Everything: A Cometbus Omnibus, collecting together issues of the punk magazine that chronicled the California punk scene in the late 80s and 90s

Punk London, a year-long commemoration of the 40th anniversary of Punk

The book, Outcry: American Voices of Conscience, Post-9/11, by Marie Spike and Charles Reskin

The book, Mass Media, Mass Propaganda: Understanding the News in the 'War on Terror, by Anthony DiMaggio