American Idiot says goodbye to Broadway

On April 24, the cast of the Broadway production of Green Day’s American Idiot took the stage for the last time. Joined by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong who had reprised his role of Saint Jimmy for the past three weeks, the play’s successful Broadway run is now complete after 421 performances, 27 previews, one Grammy win for “ Best Musical Show Album” and one Tony Award win for “Best Musical.”

The play, directed by Michael Mayer and written by Billie Joe Armstrong, first began production in Berkeley, California in September of 2009 to solid reviews. By March 24,2010, the play had taken to the Broadway stage for preview performances before officially starting on April 20, 2010.

Now, just a little over a year later, the cast members took their final bows in an emotional farewell to Broadway and to the Saint James Theater. Director Michael Mayer along with other producers of the show gave speeches to the sold-out audience thanking them for their support.

Armstrong’s three stints as St. Jimmy propelled ticket sales but their decline in his absence is what led to the closing of the production.

Fans who came to the final performance, however, were treated to one last surprise in addition to the speeches and appearances of original cast members like John Gallagher Jr., who played the main role of Johnny for all of the productions.

After the speeches, Green Day itself took the stage to play a ten song set that included older tracks like “Burnout” and “Longview” from their 1994 album Dookie. They ultimately concluded their set with Armstrong declaring “This whole experience has been surreal…I never thought I’d see my bedroom on a Broadway stage” before diving into the track that the whole musical revolves around “Jesus of Suburbia.”

Upon the song’s conclusion, Armstrong turned to the cast behind him and bowed, and the actors reciprocated. With that event, American Idiot’s stint on Broadway ended.

Fans who did not get to see the show still have reason to be excited, though, because starting in December, it will begin a nationwide tour in Toronto that will take it to cities like Boston, Detroit, St. Louis, Seattle and Dallas. It will take over the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles from March 13 through April 22 in 2012.

Tom Hanks’ production company, Playtone, has also picked up the rights to make a movie based off the record, which will be directed by Michael Mayer.