Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ Musical Begins Aussie Run

The Australian run of Green Day’s “American Idiot The Musical” has received positive reviews. Running for three weeks at Brisbane’s 850-seat QPAC Playhouse Theatre, it made its debut Feb. 23.

AP Photo
– Celebrating an “American Idiot”
Green Day and the cast of “American Idiot” perform at the Grammy Awards.

Celebrating an “American Idiot” – Green Day and the cast of “American Idiot” perform at the Grammy Awards.

Part of the appeal is that sharing the lead character of the charismatically rebellious St. Jimmy are Chris Cheney, singer/guitarist of rock band The Living End, and Phil Jamieson, frontman with alt-rock crossover act Grinspoon.

On Broadway the lead role was played by Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, AFI’s Davey Havok, and Melissa Etheridge.

Cheney, in particular, was a huge Green Day fan before he formed The Living End; both bands toured the United States and Australia together a number of times since 1995.

“I struck up a good friendship with Billy Joe and I studied his stage movements at close range,” Cheney said.

Also a draw for the audience is that director Craig Ilott links the Bush-era malaise that shaped the 15 million-selling Green Day album with current day United States.

The show opens with a screaming montage of U.S. President Donald Trump boasts and billboards with messages about fake news and Muslim immigrants.

Whether the social activists rallying in the street win over the establishment is something that pervades the Australian version.

Cheney said, “It’s not just full-throttle punk rock, there are some emotional moments and there’s some things that make you think hard. I really believe Green Day would enjoy what this group of Australians do with their musical.”

The 13-strong cast of musicians and theatre actors were chosen from 600 applications.