With the bloody-knuckled, pouty-lipped, Hot Topic-clad swag of your angsty fourteen-year-old sister, actress Morgan Weed has dragged “American Idiot” producers into a nasty little lawsuit for alleged identity distortion in the show’s promo campaign.

Weed, a former swing and understudy for “Whatsername” during the pre-Broadway run at Berkeley Rep, is “demanding compensatory and punitive damages” in addition to a slice of the show’s financial yields to compensate for all the tormented nights of anguish she spent thinking about the destructive force her two seconds of screen time in this studio recording of “21 Guns” will have on her fledgling career in regional theatre.

Image Source: Jeff under Creative Commons
Theatre Actress Sues Over Green Day Musical Promo [abc news]


We had our doubts about a musical based on the CD that got us through our angsty early teen years, but the Berkeley Rep has gone and proved us wrong. First came the stellar reviews, next came Broadway, and now, the Tony noms have rolled in … and boy, have they ever. American Idiot has been nominated for no fewer than three Tony awards. Yup, the Berkeley Rep might just become the dark horse for this year’s award season. With nominations for best lighting design of a musical, best scenic design of a musical, and the ever-impressive best musical. So for all of you who said that you don’t wanna be an American Idiot, maybe it’s time to think again.

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Who’s Nominated? [Tony Awards]

broadwayWhere would you go to see “Scalpel!,” a musical about murderous plastic surgery recipients or “Girlfriend,” the story of two boyfriends? Look no further than the Bay Area, which has recently established itself as the birthplace of offbeat musicals, some of which have been going on to conquer Broadway, for example.

You may remember “American Idiot,” the Green Day musical at the Berkeley Rep which transformed scoffs to shock when it made it to Broadway (it opens next Tuesday). Or “Passing Strange,” the bizarre compilation of a singer-songwriter and a rocker, which also recently made its Broadway debut.

The Bay Area has a reputation for being a supportive environment for nonconformity, and apparently the same applies to the theater world. Writers and directors come out here to test out their bizarre brain children away from the prying eyes of industry executives and New York critics.

The world of musicals has long favored “mass appeal over experimentation,” but the recent wave of quirky and successful works coming out of the Bay recently has begun to open a new niche in the musical market and draw in different kinds of viewers.

We don’t mind being musical guinea pigs, so long as we get to see Broadway musicals for cheap before they get big.

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Where Musicals Can Dare to Be Different [NYT Bay Area Blog]

greenday legos

“American Idiot” (the play), we remember when you were just a wee idea, scrounging for funding amidst a world of skeptics and naysayers. Now look at you: an extended run at the Rep, a critical response ranging from mediocre to pretty good, and you’re ready to leave the nest, off to Broadway – the big time. We promised ourselves we wouldn’t cry. read more »

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: read more »

Green DayIf you had money riding on Green Day’s theater debut being a flop, bust or overall embarrassment (though there’s still time for that!), what were you thinking? These guys book football stadiums. Sure enough, American Idiot has already crushed the box office at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. In light of this unanticipated demand, the Rep has decided to extend the play’s run another three weeks. If you goofed up real nasty and somehow let buying tickets slip your mind, now’s your chance! The spirits of capitalism and pop-punk are smiling wide.

“American Idiot” was originally scheduled to run from Sept. 16 through Oct. 11, with previews starting today. As if. The rock drama will go on through Nov. 1. The story follows some working class kids as they traverse the terrain of American influence (this includes the Middle East.) Now, all that remains to be seen is, you know, whether it’s any good.

Image Source: Logan Hicks under Creative Commons.
Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ to rock on for three additional weeks [LA TIMES]


Believe it or not, plays don’t seem to fare all that well in dismal economic climates. Fortunately, our good ol’ Berkeley Rep just received two generous donations

The Affair of the Necklace move in support of its upcoming world premiers. Breathe easy kids, with the help of the Phyllis C. Wattis foundation and The Edgerton Foundation, Green Day’s American Idiot Sydney aka Hard Eight trailer

and Naomi Iizuka’s slightly less fourteen-year-old-friendly Concerning Strange Devices from the Distant West

The Moth ipod

download Straightheads

Flight from Ashiya film will go forth as anticipated. read more »

112323844_ecc2176a89Remember when we told you about Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s amazing upcoming season? Well, get out your studded belts and rub some glue into that faux-hawk: The company is also premiering a play adaptation of Green Day’s “American Idiot.”

Complete with a cast of nineteen and an onstage band, and based on a book written by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and director Michael Mayer, the rock opera turned musical is centered around a number of characters seeking “redemption in a conflicted world.”

Which is clearly about as punk-rock as it gets.

Image Source: Dunechaser under Creative Commons
Punk Goes Theater: Berkeley Rep Takes Green Day’s American Idiot to the Stage [East Bay Express]
Green Day Musical to Debut at Berkeley Rep [AIWFB

The Thin Man Goes Home full movie ]