The Herald of Everett, Washington
Customer service  |  Subscribe   |   Log in or sign up   |   Advertising information   |   Contact us
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up  Green editions icon Green editions
Herald staff |
Published: Wednesday, June 6, 2012, 10:11 a.m.

'American Idiot' opens at Paramount: Splash over substance

  • Scott J. Campbell (Tunny), Van Hughes (Johnny) and Jake Epstein (Will) in AMERICAN IDIOT.

    Photo by Doug Hamilton

    Scott J. Campbell (Tunny), Van Hughes (Johnny) and Jake Epstein (Will) in AMERICAN IDIOT.

"American Idiot," the Green Day musical that wowed Broadway, opened Tuesday night at the Paramount for a week-long run.

This slick show strings together many popular Green Day songs into a "jukebox musical" that attempts to tell the story of three friends. The story attempts to be a reflection of post 9/11 cultural sensibilities. It has bits of "Hair" due to a anti-war plot line and some hint of "Rent" with its rough set design and cultural reference.

I found the story of the three pals trite, leaning heavily on pastiche rather than substance. The songs, although familiar, lacked Green Day's vibrancy and raw energy.

Written by and originally starring Billie Joe Armstrong from the iconic punk band, the show tries to have a punk edge. The blade, however, is dull,softened for a mass-market audience. Armstrong is not part of the touring ensemble.

Due to the raucous and loud band, it often was hard to hear lyrics, except when the music quieted and songs were crisp over an acoustic guitar.

Despite all this, the show is entertaining enough as long as you don't try to interpret deeper meaning. Van Hughes, who plays Johnny, is a charismatic lead, a great dancer and even better singer.

The rest of the cast is strong and the sets have enough whiz-bang to wow the audience.

When the cast sings "Time of Your Life," in the finale, they sing, "It's something unpredictable but in the end
it's right, I hope you've had the time of your life." The audience on Tuesday roared, but I couldn't help but disagree.

I had a fine time, but it wasn't the time of my life.

"American Idiot" plays daily through June 10 with weekend matinees. Tickets start at $25 for rush seats n the pit, cash only at the box office, 911 Pine St., Seattle. More information at
Story tags » Rock MusicTheater

Subscribe to Daily headlines
See sample | Privacy policy

Most recent The Arts Seen posts

No recent blog posts for the past 180 days.

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

» More life
HeraldNet Classifieds