A critical smash on Broadway and in London, the two-time Tony Award® winning hit musical AMERICAN IDIOT tells the story of
three lifelong friends, forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia. Their quest for true meaning in a post 9/11 world leads them on the most exhilarating theatrical journey of the season.
Based on Green Day’s GRAMMY® Award-winning multi-platinum album, AMERICAN IDIOT boldly takes the American musical where it’s never gone before. The result is an experience Charles Isherwood of The New York Times declares “thrilling, emotionally charged, and as moving as any Broadway musical I’ve seen this year!”
Featuring the hits “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “21 Guns,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “Holiday” and the blockbuster title track, AMERICAN IDIOT features the music of Green Day and the lyrics of its lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong, direction by Tony Award® winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening), choreography by Olivier Award winner Steven Hoggett (Black Watch), music supervision, orchestrations and arrangements by Pulitzer Prize winner Tom Kitt (Next to Normal), Tony Award® winning set design by Christine Jones and Tony Award® winning lighting design by Kevin Adams.
Austin Entertainment Weekly Editor Olin Meadows spent a few moments with Chelsea Turbin from the cast of American Idiot to get some insights into the show, the process, and what makes American Idiot a Universal hit!
Austin Entertainment Weekly: American Idiot is a musical based off of an album that is typically considered for a “Younger” demographic, how does this show relate to all adiences.
Chelsea: Our audiences are always so diverse- whether it be some adults that listened to Green Day’s earlier albums when they were younger, people my age that grew up in the American Idiot era or younger kids whom are now discovering Green Day for themselves. We also reach the musical theatre lovers who enjoy the raw emotion and new energy of this particular musical; it’s not your typical night at the theater!
Austin Entertainment Weekly: What are your favorite moments of the show?
Chelsea:“Rage and love” is a theme throughout the show. “Letterbomb” is always a favorite of mine because it’s such a kick-ass, girl-power number and it’s awesome to get to channel that “rage” aspect of the show every night. On the love side I have “Holiday.” The whole ensemble gets to climb all over this bus and have fun with each other. The great music doesn’t hurt either!
Austin Entertainment Weekly: What is the one thing you want audience members to leave thinking or feeling?
Chelsea: I want the audience to walk away feeling SOMETHING. Whether that be the hyped-up, awesome feeling you get after a rock concert, the emotional connection you get when a musical really speaks to you, or even some anger because our show challenged you to think about things or see things a different way. As long as we made you walk away from it feeling something, I’m happy.
Austin Entertainment Weekly: When preparing for this high energy, high octaine show what do you do?
Chelsea:Eat, sleep, lots of water. We also get a physical and vocal warm up before each show to get us in the zone (and keep our bodies safe). We also have a traditional pre-show moment to get pumped up together called F**k Time. Sometimes the audience cheers when they hear it!
Austin Entertainment Weekly: How does being a part of this show compare to being in anything you have done in the past?
Chelsea: In the past I have always been the 1920’s-1950’s musical girl. Tap dancing, classic Broadway stuff. American Idiot is the COMPLETE opposite of that and yet I still connect with it so strongly. I’m wearing jeans and sneakers and throwing my body around the stage, and this feels to me more like a work of art than anything I’ve ever worked on before. The music and choreography help inform the story so beautifully that each night I feel lucky to be a part of this production.