While we were in New York, PJ and I really wanted to see Green Day’s American Idiot. We both love the original album, and we both have crushes on John Gallagher from seeing him in Spring Awakening. So, we got tickets from the TKTS Booth. Our seats weren’t the best, but we enjoyed the performance. Here’s a sample of the musical from when the cast was on Letterman:

Before seeing the show, we had heard a little about the production (in addition to knowing the original Green Day album well). What we had heard was that there are three plot lines but that they three stories don’t really jive together well. We had also heard that it’s all a little confusing.

After seeing it, we thought that these comments were ludicrous. The plot does revolve around three guys. They want to move to the city and start a band, but one of them ends up not being able to leave their home town because his girlfriend gets pregnant. The other two go anyway, but they soon part company when one of them joins the army and the other one becomes a drug addict. The show follows their separate lives over the course of about 6 months or so.

All of it is very clear and not only easy to follow but also engaging, at times dazzling, and very entertaining.

Gallagher was especially great (and totally hot). He’s Johnny, the lead, so the show rests on his shoulders. His character becomes the drug addict, and his major story in the show is deciding whether he’s going to merely descend into drugs or try to do something with his life.

I know that I should appreciate Gallagher for his singing, acting, and dancing, all of which is great. And I know this is going to make me sound like an old gay perv, but I couldn’t help but have all sorts of lascivious thoughts about him throughout the show. He’s just too hot for words when he’s on stage. Some performers just have that certain magnetism (and a great ass!). I was happy to find after wards that PJ was having the exact same thoughts, so it’s not just me!

Stark Sands usually plays Tunny, but Van Hughes played him while we were there. His character joins the army. Hughes is excellent in this part. He has a strong singing voice, and he has a great scene in which he’s suspended from wires and dancing with another character in the air. It’s a crowd-pleasing performance.

The third story revolves around Will, played by Michael Esper. He’s the one with the pregnant girlfriend. His story has the least involved in it: he mostly sits on a couch. But he’s good too.

Tony Vincent is also great as St. Jimmy, the drug dealer. His character is skinny and dressed in black leather, making him look like the scary guy in an early episode of Queer as Folk (in the British version, two characters go home with him, but only one stays to have sex with him because he’s so scary). Vocally, Vincent is amazing. Most of his songs are hard rock, but he also has one that is more of a ballad, a softer song. His voice is impressive in both genres.

It’s a very impressive music, political and heartfelt all at once. The cast also includes people of different sizes and shapes, which seems pretty unique to this show.

I was especially enamored by the song “When It’s Time,” which I’m going to make my song of the week. It’s a love song that Johnny sings to the woman he loves. The main problem, however, is that she’s asleep when he sings it.

Here’s Gallagher’s version:

And here’s Green Day’s version:

My favorite line is, “When I take your hand, it’s ’cause I want to.” Here are the rest of the lyrics:

Words get trapped in my mind
Sorry I don’t take the time to feel the way I do
‘Cause the first day you came into my life
My time ticks around you

But then I need your voice
As the key? to unlock
All the love that’s trapped in me
So tell me when it’s time
to say I love you

All I want is you to understand
That when I take your hand
It’s ’cause I want to
We are all born in? a world of doubt
But there’s no doubt
I figured out
I love you

All I want is you to understand
That when I take your hand
It’s ’cause I want to
We are all born in a world of doubt
And there’s no doubt
I figured out
I love you

And I feel lonely for
All the losers that will never take the time to say
What was really on their mind instead
They just hide away
Yet they’ll never have
Someone like you to guard them
And help along the way
Or tell them when it’s time to say I love you
So tell me when it’s time to say I love you

I really like this musical. It will be interesting to see if it’s able to have a life after this run on Broadway. It should. It’s a great examination of the Bush years and a younger generation’s response to them.

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