American Idiot (3* / 4*)

Ian’s 3* Review:

I had little idea what to expect of American Idiot, but Ruth told me it had a wonderful reception on Broadway so we thought we’d see for ourselves.  The music was pretty true to the Green Day original tracks (not “musicalised” like We Will Rock You or Mamma Mia) which was good, but that did make for a difficult narrative.  While I was enjoying the music I really enjoyed the show, but when it segued into narrative in between numbers I kept being surprised. “Oh, there’s supposed to be a plot isn’t there!”.  Overall I thought this was a professional and energetic musical performance with a weak plot.

P.S. They are pretty strict at the Playhouse about not allowing photography during the performance so I played safe and took a picture before the curtain went up…

Ruth’s 4* Review:

I’m not sure what to make of this one.  It was hugely well received by the audience.  I felt quite indifferent to it when I was watching it, but then somehow when it had finished it had all come together and sat a bit better with me.  But ideally you like things as you watch them right?!

The singing was good and in places excellent, particularly the mainest of the three main guys (Alex Nee).  Several of the cast played guitar during their songs, which was  nice touch.

The set was great, very interesting to look at and used quite innovatively during the dances.  The band were on stage too, which worked very well with the musical style.

The dancing was fine and in places (such as one about the army and the flying dream sequence) very good.

I liked how the style of it maintained some of the original integrity of the music, whilst making it suitably musical-y for the stage.  I thought it might have been cheesier, but it wasn’t too Glee.  Not sure what a true Green Day fan would make of it though!

For me the story (or lack of) let it down.  Not much happened.  Some young lads left home, had some tough times, and came back again.  With mainly singing and very little narrative this wasn’t straightforward to grasp on a song-by-song basis although it did all come together a bit in the end.

I’m giving it 4* because I think the various bits fell somewhere between 3.5* and 4.5*…


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