The new musical American Idiot, based on the Grammy Award-winning Green Day album of the same name (and featuring arrangements by Next To Normal composer Tom Kitt), opens on Broadway tonight at the St. James Theatre. The musical about disaffected suburban youth in search of something more is also having opening night festivities online, which ticket-less fans can enjoy from the comfort of their home. At AmericanIdiotOnBroadway.com, fans can see red carpet footage, video and images from the after party, and Twitter updates from the show’s cast and creative team. American Idiot, which stars John Gallagher Jr. (Spring Awakening), Rebecca Naomi Jones (Passing Strange), Michael Esper, Tony Vincent, and Stark Sands, comprises all the songs from Green Day’s hit album, including “When September Ends” and “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” plus a few songs from the band’s new album 21st Century Breakdown, most notably “21 Guns”. The musical’s original Broadway cast album was also released today.
The acclaimed Broadway musical Next To Normal, which last year nabbed the Tony Award for Best Musical, has now won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Written by Tony-winning songwriting team Tom Kitt (music) and Brian Yorkey (book and lyrics), the new musical is about the unlikely subject of mental illness and stars Alice Ripley in a role that won her the Tony. The show, which has been under development for a few years (and was previously titled Feeling Electric) had its Off-Broadway debut at the Second Stage Theatre, and it appears that Next To Normal‘s next major production will be in Toronto. The other finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama this year were The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz; Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo by Rajiv Joseph; and In the Next Room or the vibrator play by Sarah Ruhl, which was seen on Broadway earlier this season.
Bring It On: The Musical is now in the works. Set in the world of competitive cheerleading, the musical will have an all-star creative team, including composer Lin-Manuel Miranda (In the Heights), bookwriter Jeff Whitty (Avenue Q), composer Tom Kitt (Next To Normal), lyricist Amanda Green (High Fidelity), and choreographer Andy Blankenbuhler (In the Heights). The 2000 film of the same name spawned a whole franchise, and it seems that those movies have served as the inspiration for the forthcoming Broadway show, though the musical will not be using the plots from any of those movies.
It’s been a long road to Broadway for the musical Next To Normal, a family drama written by Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, but it will finally arrive on the Great White Way this spring. Previously titled Feeling Electric, Next To Normal had workshops in NYC and was given a staged reading at the New York Musical Theatre Festival prior to opening Off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theatre in 2008. The Second Stage production was well-received and led to rumors that the musical would transfer to Broadway, but, curiously, the show took another route. Following rewrites by the creative team, Next To Normal went on to another run, with almost the entire Off-Broadway cast intact, at Washington D.C.’s Arena Stage. Now Next To Normal, with the same cast and director as the Arena production, will at last come to Broadway’s Longacre Theatre, with an official Broadway opening scheduled for April 15.