‘American Idiot’ takes the stage

April 30th, 2014


By the end of September, Green Day’s critically acclaimed, award-winning album, “American Idiot,” will be ten years old.


The album is the basis for the musical of the same name.


The show follows the story of Johnny, played by Jared Nepute – the self-described “Jesus of Suburbia.”


He and his friends, Will, played by Casey O’Farrell and Tunny, played by Dan Tracy, hate their suburban hometown of Jingletown, and plan to leave it for “the city.”


Right before they do, Will is forced to change his mind due to his girlfriend Heather’s unexpected pregnancy. Heather is played by Mariah MacFarlan.


Then, when Johnny and Tunny reach “the city,” Tunny becomes dissatisfied with his new home, and enlists in the military.


With both of his friends gone, Johnny creates a new persona for himself, St. Jimmy.


The story then follows the three friends through their respective struggles.


Will has an ordeal with his girlfriend and Tunny has quite an experience in the army. Lastly, Johnny deals with an internal conflict to keep his girlfriend Whatsername, played by Olivia Puckett, from “the city.”


He also attempts to keep St. Jimmy and his drug addiction under control.


Nepute, O’Farrell and Tracy make up a solid trio of actors to carry the story.


Nepute is clearly the leader of the three and does his best to portray the conflicted Johnny.


Nepute’s performance was very good at depicting the balance of anger in Johnny’s opinion of the state of his country and love for “Whatsername.”


There is a woman behind each man.


For Johnny, it’s “Whatsername,” for Will, it’s Heather and for Tunny, it’s eventually the “Extraordinary Girl,” played by Taylor Jones.


Puckett does an excellent job as Whatsername, capturing the woman who fights to get her lover off of drugs and St. Jimmy.


MacFarlane did a wonderful job as Heather, the girlfriend who eventually leaves O’Farrell when she realizes he does nothing to help her and their baby.


Jones only had one big song as “Extraordinary Girl,” but she knocked it out of the park with her great flexibility and all-around excellent dancing.


The instrumentation, which drew heavily from one of the greatest rock albums of the past 20 years were good, but not as well-done as the harmonies.


The best part about the music was the variations and additions to the original music of “American Idiot,” and its following album, “21st Century Breakdown.”


Unfortunately, the choreography was the exact opposite of the music.


It was only interesting when there were sets involved in the individual numbers. In these scenes, the set was alive and made for an engaging experience.


Aside from that, it was very underwhelming.


When all put together, “American Idiot” is a very good show with great acting, singing and an embodiment of Green Day.