“American Idiot”: A few confessions


I’ll start with two confessions. The first confession is that this is probably going to be my weakest review this season.  Which leads me to my second confession: I don’t really know what I thought of the show. That might be my fault, but it might be that of the show’s. I can’t tell. American Idiot is not quite like any other show I have ever seen. And my opinions about and observations of the show are inexplicably weak. I believe that on the night that I saw it, either I, the show, or the main character were not in sync.

In my case, I’ll confess that I felt out of sorts that night.

If it is the show that is to blame, then I can identify several of the problems.

If it is the main character, then I guess the show did a good job of conveying its point. The show is about 3 messed up kids living between 9-11 and the recession of the late 2000s, from what I can guess. The story is about the kids (20 somethings) who run away from home.   It is set around the Green Day album, American Idiot. It will be running from the 21st to the 26th of February at the Orpheum Theatre.

I will also say that I was annoyed by several of the characters. I found that the main character was in a continuous crashing wave of messed up. The only time he seemed like a real person was when he was singing, which was like twice (as the character in the story). Then he’d go back to crashing. If that was the whole point of the story, sure, I guess it worked. But I personally didn’t enjoy that as a story line.

None of the performances stuck out to me. 

And now to the music. About 90% of the show is music. But, I’m not going to tell you what I thought of the music. That is for 2 reasons: one; that is you to decide, And two; I don’t know what I thought. I enjoyed the additions of a string section in some of the songs, canned or uncanned (I couldn’t tell), a feature that I don’t remember from when I heard the songs last. 

The dancing was… effective. I did think that in “Extraordinary Girl” (I think) they went a bit over the top with the wires. Just cause you can, doesn’t mean you should. Hey, if the person who made the decision can justify it, it’s fine, but it kinda felt like they were saying, “Look what we can do!” 

I found the video screens incredibly distracting on some of the numbers. They did a complete job of pulling my attention away from the action. This might have been because the cutoff of the top of the stage was in line with the balcony from my seat near the back of the house, or it could have been the number of the screens.  Or just me. They were effective in setting some scenes, but I found them distracting for the most part.

In short, it did not rub me either way, it failed to even touch me. That could have been me that night, or perhaps the entire performance was anti-emotional. I don’t know. So that is why, by the end of this review, I am unable to tell you whether I liked it or not, or whether I could recommend it, or not. Sorry.  I guess I leave it to you to decide if American Idiot is something you want to see.