IS THERE A TIME-FRAME YOU’RE WORKING ON OR IS IT TOO EARLY ON? Too soon to say. But we are conspiring!

DID YOU HAVE ANY TREPIDATION IN APPROACHING BILLIE JOE WITH THE IDEA OF BRINGINGAMERICAN IDIOT TO THE STAGE? My only preconception was that he would think theater wasn't going to be for him. When I first went out to pitch this to Green Day and their people, I was just thinking there's no way they're going to go for this, because it's just too nerdy or too geeky or too gay or whatever. But what happened in the most beautiful way is that Billie Joe came to see Spring Awakening and completely loved it and understood what I was going after in that show and what I was hoping to accomplish with American Idiot.

WHICH WAS WHAT? To continue more exploration of how the kind of music that a young person would actually choose to listen to on their iPod could also be enlisted to help tell a story. And that is the history of musical theater my friend, that's what it used to be back in what everybody calls "the golden age of the musical," that was the popular music of the day — Broadway music. And that has not been the case for quite some time. For me, the idea of taking an incredibly popular record like American Idiot and marrying it with a visual storytelling, just like you would with any rock opera or musical, was very exciting and intoxicating a little bit. I thought, wow — it's new, but at the same time, it's actually doing what theater used to do and hasn't for decades now. People just don't listen to show tunes anymore — but they listen to Green Day!

DO YOU THINK THIS COULD BE A REINTRODUCTION OF THE GENERAL PUBLIC TO THEATER, AS TO WHAT IT CAN BE AND WHAT IT REALLY MEANS? Definitely. I will say this: starting at Berkeley with our very first performances of American Idiot, all throughout our Broadway run and now also so far with the tour, I have encountered more first-time theatergoers than in any other single show that I've ever done — including Spring Awakening. It's extremely exciting for me.

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Related: Improv Asylum presents Scott Brown: The Musical, Dogging it, Transformations, More more >
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