american idiot

When we saw “Berkeley” on the front cover of The New York Times’ Weekend Arts section, we thought, “Hey! That’s us,” and then dove into a rut of deep self-consciousness. It’s not often that we have so many upper-right-coast eyes peering in our direction. Leave it to hotshot local yokel Billie Joe Armstrong. His theatrical excursion is out and the reviews are in. Drum roll, please:

From what we have gathered: If you really liked American Idiot, the album, you’re most likely going to really like American Idiot, the play. If you thought American Idiot, the album, was pretty all right but really rather shallow for all its sense of self-importance … You can guess where this is going. If you’re still on the fence, take it straight from the critics:

Former clogger Christine Borden of the SF Appeal says, “It is just like watching TV, specifically MTV before it got rid of all its music videos.”

The San Francisco Chronicle‘s Robert Hurwitt tells his readers not to expect “much in the way of character or story,” but to sit back and enjoy “plenty of excitement and entertainment” and “a remarkably theatrical rock concert.”

Music critic Jim Harrington feels that the “music sounds processed and stale, handled with kid gloves by way too many players and sung by more than a dozen actors that have rehearsed the original fire right out of the songs.” Ouch.

On the other hand, San Jose Mercury News theater critic Karen D’Souza eloquently articulates that the musical is as “compelling as it is abstract, [channeling] the grungy spirit of punk while also plucking at the heartstrings.”

Abstract? Huh …

Image Source: Joeywan under Creative Commons.
‘American Idiot’ at Berkeley Repertory: What did the critics think? [LA Times]
Berkeley Rep’s ‘American Idiot’: All Rock, No Talk [SF Appeal]



Comments:
Christine Borden said:
Sep 19, 2009 at 3:20 pm

Thanks for the nod. You forgot Louis though! You know, also former Sex on Tuesday and former A&E editor at Daily Cal? His write-up is here. I think my negativity might have rubbed off on him.