A review by Suzanne Birrell.
Green Day's American Idiot was in and of itself a highly successful album.
Green Day's American Idiot the Rock Opera draws in the fans and does not disappoint. The story has a strong arc. Three friends go off on individual journeys of self-discovery, descend into their private hells, and come out the other side.
Green Day's American Idiot is an Iliad and the Odyssey story of presented as a rock opera.
The Doma Theatre delivers a rocking production from an talented and energetic cast. Playing as it is during the Hollywood Fringe Festival, Green Day's American Idiot is a great example of a fringe production that made it big. Of course, it all starts with very fine music but the presentation can either add to the production or detract. In this case the dialogue between the songs was delivered with verve and definitely added to the story.
There is something wonderful about hearing melodic rock songs done in 6 part harmonies. The band and the mix couldn't get any better. Every singer had a mic. The drums were shielded and the balance was as close to perfect as could be. I could understand all the vocals. The effervescent energy of the cast combined with great lighting and staging really sold a powerful story punctuated with breath taking moments.
Jess Ford as Johnny was brilliant. Totally committed thru the ups and downs to each step of his journey. He rocked. Andrew Diego as St. Jimmy gave a mesmerizing performance. Even though he had mic problems- he never faltered in his commitment to character. The make-up designer, Jessica Kuhns, should be complimented for helping to create the character of St. Jimmy as well. Diego's movements and looks and style gave us an unforgettable character that could haunt dreams.
Besides the song "St. Jimmy," "Give me Novocain" and "21 Guns" were stellar moments. A wonderful contrast is when the character Johnny sits strumming his acoustic guitar and sings "When it's Time."
In some of the ensemble pieces, especially towards the end in "Homecoming," there were times when I wished a spotlight could have helped me find the singer who was singing a particular line- there is a lot going on. For this reason, seats towards the back might be the better option. But then again, seats in the front get to experience St. Jimmy's in your face performance.
Although adult content and strong language make parental guidance recommended, it was great to see the number of teenagers out with their parents (and grandparents) for this show.
Thru July 27, 2015
At The Met
1089 N. Oxford
Los Angeles 90029