American Idiot: Principal cast changes
Davey Havok (lead vocalist of the American rock band AFI) is set to join the cast of the rock musical American Idiot for a limited two week engagement as 'St. Jimmy' from 1 Mar 2011.
In addition, Justin Guarini (Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown) will play the role of 'Will,' and current ensemble members Van Hughes and Libby Winters will take over the roles of 'Johnny' and 'The Extraordinary Girl,' respectively on 1 Mar 2011.
Composer/co-author and lead singer of Green Day Billie Joe Armstrong said, "I couldn't be more excited that Davey is joining the American Idiot cast to play St. Jimmy. Not only is he a good friend of mine, but I feel that he also brings the perfect energy and air of menace to the part. The audience is going to freak out.”
Director and co-book writer Michael Mayer said, “Justin blew us away in his audition and I am thrilled to have him join the company of American Idiot. And, of course, I’m proud and excited to have Van and Libby, original Broadway cast members who have poured their blood, sweat and tears into the show over the past year, move into these lead roles.”
Original Broadway cast members John Gallagher Jr. (Johnny), Michael Esper (Will), Christina Sajous (The Extraordinary Girl) and, after a 50 performance engagement Green Day frontman and the musical’s composer and co-author, Billie Joe Armstrong (St. Jimmy) will play their final performances 27 Feb 2011 (Gallagher, Esper and Armstrong) and 26 Feb 2011 (Sajous).
American Idiot features the music of Green Day and the lyrics of Billie Joe Armstrong. The musical is based on Green Day's Grammy Award-winning album of the same name, American Idiot.
The musical currently stars John Gallagher Jr. (Johnny), Stark Sands (Tunny), Michael Esper (Will), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Whatsername), Christina Sajous (The Extraordinary Girl), Jeanna de Waal (Heather) and Billie Joe Armstrong (St. Jimmy).
The Broadway premiere of Green Day's American Idiot, opened at St James Theatre on 20 Apr 2010, following previews from 24 Mar 2010, and currently selling tickets through to 1 May 2011.
The musical opened to mixed reviews: Mostly unintelligible (newyorktheatreguide); Thrillingly raucous (NY Times); Hip veneer on vacant material"(Bloomberg); Loud, angry, & thrilling (Back Stage).
American Idiot follows working-class characters from the suburbs to the city to the Middle East, as they seek redemption in a world filled with frustration.
Based on the Reprise Records Grammy Award-winning album of the same name, American Idiot features the music of Green Day and the lyrics of its lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong. The show is directed by Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening), who also collaborated with Armstrong on the book, and choreographed by Olivier Award-winning Steven Hoggett (Blackwatch).
The show includes every song from the album, as well as several new songs from '21st Century Breakdown.' Green Day won two Grammys – Best Rock Album and Record of the Year – for its multi-platinum 'American Idiot.' The album sold more than 12 million copies worldwide.
American Idiot played at Berkeley Rep’s Roda Theatre from 4 Sep - 15 Nov 2009. The musical's record breaking run brought in the biggest advance sale in the Theatre’s 41-year history, the biggest day at the box office, 17 of the top 20 days ever and due to ticket demand had to announce the first extension before it had played its first performance.
The show features scenic design by Tony-nominee Christine Jones (Spring Awakening), costume design by Andrea Lauer, lighting design by two-time Tony-winner Kevin Adams (The 39 Steps, Spring Awakening), Sound design by Brian Ronan, as well as video design by Darrel Maloney.
The Tony-winning composer Tom Kitt (Next to Normal) is the music supervisor, orchestrator and music arranger. In addition, Kitt also provided string arrangements for Green Day’s latest album, '21st Century Breakdown.'
American Idiot is produced on Broadway by Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman in association with Berkeley Repertory Theatre