Next stop Jingletown as the fine folks at Glory|Struck bring American Idiot back to Los Angeles in an immersive warehouse show that should be at the top of your must see list.
You can call me a doubter if you want because, and this is full disclosure, I had no interest in seeing a musical based on a Green Day album, even an album I considered to be their best. I just couldn’t see it. Green Day and musical theater to me just felt like oil and water. I heard raves about it and how great it was and then it was nominated for Tonys and all that. Still though, I had doubts. I don’t know why.
Anyway, it came and went from LA a couple years ago and I never got around to seeing it. In that time though, I was lucky enough to attend a couple other productions from Glory|Struck, including Spring Awakening and Bare. I loved both of them, and in fact credit them for really kickstarting my love of musical theater.
So, now here we are and American Idiot is back with Glory|Struck at the helm and suddenly, I’m excited to see this show that before I’d sort of didn’t care much about.
The show features some cast members from those earlier shows, a good choice since these folks are among the most talented people working in LA (in this humble critic’s opinion).
Set in a warehouse in Downtown LA, The Vortex, American Idiot – Los Angeles is an immersive rush of a show that delivers on every level. It never stops and this cast works their asses off for the intermission free 90-minute show.
I am very pleased to say I was completely wrong. Green Day’s album translates beautifully into a musical, and this production brings it to life with a passion that is impossible to resist. The thing I always notice about Glory|Struck productions is that everyone seems to have so much invested in the project. They’re labors of love for everyone involved and American Idiot is no different which makes the show that much more personal as a viewer. You feel the passion, the love, the embodiment that these people dedicate to their parts and to the show as a whole. From the stellar live band to the incredible actors. This is theater at its best.
The show is set in an open warehouse and they take advantage of that space in a great way. Things happen all around you. They have staging in the audience, against the walls, in the walkways, everywhere you look has the potential for something to be happening. A big tip of the hat to the directors, Topher Rhys and Jen Oundjian, for a job well done.
The real highlights here though is this incredible cast. They absolutely nailed it every moment of the show. Even brief mic troubles didn’t stop them. There isn’t a weak link in the bunch. And, let me just say, not only are they an extremely talented cast but they are a beautiful one too. In all seriousness, I was blown away at the talent here. Caitlin Ary absolutely killed as St. Jimmy. Lindsay Pearce was wonderful as Whatsername and had some dynamite chemistry with James Byous that was palpable. I could list every castmember here. There were all so wonderful. From the leads to the ensemble, I was blown away by everyone.
American Idiot – Los Angeles is a mesmerizing show that you should not miss. It’s dazzling. It’s an impeccably performed, superbly directed, and truly wonderful night of theater.
Get your ass to Jingletown. You won’t regret it.
Fri, May 15 – Sun, Jun 07
Friday, Saturday, Sunday 8PM
2341 E Olympic Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90021
Garon Cockrell is the Founder and Editor of Pop Culture Beast and host of The Pop Culture Beast Show. He founded the site over seven years ago to have a place on the internet to write about the things he loved. Since then, Garon has become a best-selling author (Demonic and Other Tales), an award winning screenwriter (Best Screenplay 2013 Motor City Nightmares Film Festival), and a cast member on the top rated podcast, Never Not Funny.