10:36 | 19th February 2019

Reviews: Live Shows

Fri 7 Dec, 2012
By Robert Ingham

A fit, good-looking and exuberant cast excel with Steven Hoggett’s incredible choreography

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Green Day's 'American Idiot' - Review

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‘American Idiot!’ is the groundbreaking concept musical which takes the songs of Green Day and converts them into a head-turning, head-banging, jaw-dropping tour de force, making other musicals pale in comparison.

Johnny (Alex Nee), Tunny (Thomas Hettrick) and Will (Casey O’Farrell) are three friends from Suburbia, USA who like nothing more than hanging out and making mischief, but who dream about escaping from the droll monotony of their existence and start living the high life in the fast pace of the city. However their search takes them all in very different directions, and we follow each one over a period of seven years – watching close friends grow and change, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worst.

The premise isn’t new – there are numerous plays with similar plots, yet this musical stands out shoulders above so many.

From the second the curtain rises to the rousing finale, ‘American Idiot’ enthrals, thrills and mesmerises. There are so many moments that simply take your breath away, whether it’s one of the many beautiful songs (‘Give Me Novocaine’, ‘Tales of Another Broken Home’) or the unexpected, but perfectly used contemporary dance. The clever thing about ‘American Idiot’ is that just when you think you’ve seen all there is to offer, director Michael Mayer comes up with something else that just blows your mind. I won’t give any of these away because I went without knowing a thing about the show and came away thinking I had just seen something captivating and unique.

A fit, good-looking and exuberant cast excel with Steven Hoggett’s incredible choreography, which is simple and powerfully effective, from the stunning, almost robotic ‘Are We The Waiting’ to the dreamlike ‘Too Much Too Soon’. There are no weak links in this show, but special mention go to Kennedy Caughell (Heather) and Alyssa DiPalma (Whatsername), who prove that you don’t have to have the biggest roles to make the biggest impact.

This really is one show you cannot afford to miss. It is what today’s versions of ‘Rent’ wishes it could be. It’s edgy, it’s rocky, it grips on to you and doesn’t let go, and any non-Green Day fans will surely be converts afterwards. ‘American Idiot’ may not appeal to everybody but there is something for everyone, and as it’s only on till 16th December it would be a major shame if you miss out on a show that pushes the boundaries of what to expect from a modern musical. Totally absorbing and utterly satisfying.

‘American Idiot’ is on at the Hammersmith Apollo until 16th December. This will sell-out so get your tickets now.


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