Wake Me Up When A New Show Comes…. American Idiot by Olin Meadows

Green Day’s album “American Idiot” is a blockbuster hit, filled with songs that became anthems for my generation, however the musical based off the album is a disgrace to my generation. Michael Mayer who wrote and directed the show missed the mark with this one. Feeling like a copycat of Rent and Spring Awakening the loosely formed story and lack of real characters makes for a long hour and half of a poorly performed cover-band concert dressed up like a piece of theatre.

The Entire show takes place with the same set filled with television screens, and random trash. The cast looks like the teenagers you stay away from at the mall. The scenes are so vague that often the audience is left to wonder and come to their own conclusions as to what is actually happening. I am usually really good with deciphering symbolism, and metaphor. Unfortunately in the end all I could piece together was that the three main characters either liked each other or hated each other which is shown by the way that they hurl insults and fowl words at each other every chance they get. Then two of them leave, one joins the army while the other waste his life on drugs after having a sordid affair with some nameless girl (played by Olivia Puckett one of the true stand outs of the cast) while the army recruit loses his leg in some battle.

There were a few moments of greatness in the otherwise pointless and storyless show. When “Jared Nepute, Casey O’Farrell, and Dan Tracey sing “Wake me up When September Ends” is one of the best moments of the show. Sadly it comes at the end of the show making the other 45 minutes of waiting for a moment of interest just too much to ask.

The couple of bright stars in the cast including Olivia Puckett, Mariah MacFarlane, and Austin original Johnny Newcomb (who we miss here in Austin) are not any of the lead actors in the show. This is the first time a production associated with Broadway Across America has come through Austin and left me feeling so disappointed. This show is a 1 out of 5 stars for me. (A first and hopefully a last.)

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