Friday, January 29, 2010

UPDATE: American Idiot

Well, the exciting news about Broadway's (potentially) most exciting new show, American Idiot, just got more exciting!  First, it is really great that the show is tranferring at all; and that it is at the plumb St. James Theatre is icing on the cake.  Then, as if a score by Green Day, direction by Michael Mayer, and abook by Mayer and Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong weren't enough, now the cast has been officially announced, and it is a strong one.

Most of the cast is transferring from the Berkley Rep world premiere last year.  The leads are fabulously talented: John Gallagher Jr. (Tony-winner for Spring Awakening) will star as Johnny with newcomer Stark Sands (Journey's End, Bonnie and Clyde: A New Musical) as Tunny, Michael Esper (The Four of Us, A Man For All Seasons) as Will, Rebecca Naomi Jones (Passing Strange) as Whatshername, Christina Sajous (The Wild Party) as The Extraordinary Girl, Mary Faber (my favorite Kate Monster in Avenue Q, Saved) as Heather and Tony Vincent (Jesus Christ Superstar - on Broadway & DVD) as St. Jimmy.

And the ensemble looks to have the depth of a World Series winning team: Declan Bennett (Rent), Andrew Call (Glory Days, Cry-Baby), Gerard Canonico (Spring Awakening), Miguel Cervantes (Spelling Bee), Joshua Henry (In the Heights), Van Hughes (Saved, Hairspray), Brian Charles Johnson (Spring Awakening), Joshua Kobak (Rent), Lorin Latarro (Movin' Out), Omar Lopez-Cepero (North American tour of Evita), Leslie McDonel (Hairspray), Chase Peacock (Disney's High School Musical), Theo Stockman (Hair), Ben Thompson (Cyrano with Placido Domingo), Alysha Umphress (bare), Aspen Vincent (Dirty Dancing) and Libby Winters (White Noise).  Looks like these folks have the widest variey of musical experience out there!

It was also announced that the cast would be appearing on the Grammy Awards this Sunday with Green Day, to perform a special version of the group's Grammy-nominated song "21 Guns."  Set your DVRs!

Ugh, now if I can just get an American Express card for advance purchases!  Still, I think they might want to consider their audience when selling tickets and the scale of prices... not everyone in their teems to mid-20's is Gossip Girl rich.

PHOTOS: Top Group: John Gallagher, Jr. and Tony Vincent in American Idiot; Michael Esper in The Four of Us; and Stark Sands (with Laura Osnes) in Bonnie and Clyde.  Middle Group: Christina Sajous; Rebecca Naomi Jones (right, with Daniel Breaker) in Passing Strange; and Mary Faber (right, with Celia Keenan-Bolger) in Saved.  Bottom Group: Chase Peacock (center) in Disney's High School Musical; Lorin Latarro; and Gerard Canonico.

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