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Bettie's Box Office: American Idiot Musical Review

Updated: Friday, February 14 2014, 05:16 AM CST

Adolescent angst explodes into punk-rock rage in Green Day’s American Idiot, playing now through January 19 at Bass Concert Hall

The musical is a showcase for songs by Billie Joe Armstrong and Green Day; a band that burst onto the music scene in the 90’s and is still going strong. Think of it as a series of live-action music videos in the context of a loose story line. Three friends on the edge of adulthood, already feeling cheated and angry at the world, think they have all the answers.

The trio has no idea what to do with their own lives, but they know they won't mess things up as badly as every generation before them. When they’re actually out on their own, though, the real world sends them down three very different paths. Will they become a part of the cultural machine that they raged against? 

The show packs 21 songs into 90 minutes. All of the pieces – including signature songs like 21 Guns, Boulevard of Broken Dreams, Wake Me Up When September Ends and Good Riddance (Time of Your Life) – really underscore Armstrong’s talent as a songwriter. They’re delivered well by a young, energetic ensemble cast, many listed in the playbill as recent college grads on their first national tour. The one-set staging is also innovative and effectively used throughout the one-act musical. 

When you look at Texas Performing Art’s Broadway in Austin series, American Idiot doesn’t quite rise to the level of Jersey Boys.  But it's an entertaining and engaging 90 minutes and if you’re a Green Day fan, you’ll thoroughly enjoy seeing some of your favorite music brought to life on an Austin stage. 

By Bettie Cross

Bettie's Box Office: American Idiot Musical Review

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