“It’s something unpredictable, but in the end it’s right.” These lyrics ended the hour and a half long rock opera that is GreenDay’s American Idiot, which is currently playing at The Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles. Very poignant words that end this highly-intense, deeply depressing, in your face rock-spectacular even though the song “Good Riddance” is not from the musical’s namesake album. The show itself is not something for the traditional musical theater lover, who will find themselves wondering what happened to the days of Kander and Ebb, Rodgers and Hammerstein and Gershwin. However, it is a musical with a message and one that will keep the attention of even the most skeptical audience member.
Filled with raw emotion, repetitive and righteous head banging, put to the memorable songs by the popular band Green Day. The show touches upon the younger generation of a sinking America in a post-9/11 period where the future seems grim and there are very few options for a young adult freshly thrust into the world. Following three young men into different, yet equally destructive paths, the musical shows that no matter your choices and decisions you will still end up as an “American Idiot”.
Presented by electrified and immensely talented young actors, this show is high energy and in your face. Though the book could have used a little more to it, perhaps more freedom to stray away from the album itself would have helped the show. More spectacle then an actual story, this show will leave an audience member thinking about its message, but the humming of the memorable Green Day songs will outweigh and outlast any message the musical tried to muddle through.
The last image of the cast coming together in complete unity with acoustic guitars singing the immensely popular song “Good Riddance” is the image that will probably last the longest in the audiences minds. Ultimately, Green Day’s American Idiot may not be the greatest musical ever written, however it is the present and future of musical theater and all we can do as theatergoers is hope that “in the end it’s right”.