Where do you go next after selling 12 million copies and snagging Grammy awards for Best Rock Album and Record of the Year? Green Day is taking its multi-platinum "American Idiot" album to the stage as a musical based on the 2004 release.
The play, also titled “American Idiot,” opens at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California, September 4 and runs through October 11.
The show will include all 13 tracks of the album as well as some new tunes from Green Day’s upcoming release, 21st Century Breakdown. An onstage band and an ensemble cast of 19 young performers will bring the characters of the post- 9/11 rock opera – Jesus of Suburbia, St. Jimmy and Whatsername – to life.
Here’s what the stage play is all about: “‘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,” according to a statement about the musical.
The band is teaming up with director Michael Mayer. Mayer directed “Spring Awakening,” which earned eight Tony Awards including Best Director and Best Musical in 2007.
"We are really excited to be working with Michael Mayer on this project," Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong said in a statement. "We'd been thinking of bringing American Idiot to the stage, but knew we needed to find the right partners. After meeting with Michael to discuss the possibility, he invited us to see Spring Awakening.
“We were so impressed with that production, as well as his vision for American Idiot, that we knew we'd found the perfect collaborator. Plus, doing it in our hometown at Berkeley Rep was an obvious bonus. They are an amazing theatre group, very adventurous, and their willingness to take chances is in keeping with the spirit of the album. The end result will be terrific, and we are really proud."
Tickets to preview performances for select dates are available for purchase now through the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Dates on sale include Sept. 4, Sept. 5, Sept. 9, Sept. 10 and Sept. 13. Tickets are priced between $32 and $54.
21st Century Breakdown is set for release May 15 with a world tour to follow.
Other upcoming rock musicals include “Girlfriend” at the Berkeley Rep, based on Matthew Sweet’s pop album, and Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” which is being transformed from a werewolf and zombie-filled music video to a Broadway play. “Thriller” will include songs from Jackson’s Thriller and Off the Wall albums.
The upcoming “Spider-Man” musical will feature music and lyrics by U2’s Bono and The Edge. The play is set to hit Broadway in early 2010.
Click here to purchase tickets to “American Idiot.”