Eldest son gifted us with theater tickets for Xmas, so off we went last night to see the 8 pm performance of AMERICAN IDIOT at the Opera House. Parking is a Big Deal in-town Boston, so I feel as though I have the right to brag about the $16 space we snagged at the Hiatt Hotel’s Garage, right next door to the venue. We parked there last month to see ONCE, as well, and it works out well. We usually park at the Underground Garage at the Common and walk down to Washington St, so this is a HUGE discovery, particularly on a frigid winter night.
We’ve had the Green Day CD for years, but this was our first viewing of the rock musical that premiered in Boston in 2012. Unlike a typical play, the show has very little dialogue and no intermission. No real scene breaks for moving props around, either, so limited space for squeezing in applause. At the end of one number, a new song would immediately start. People were getting up and down between songs for potty breaks. Disconcerting at first, but then added to the rock show ambience.
These are my impressions: Popping lights on the stage that could trigger an epileptic seizure. Pulsing music that never quit. High octane from the actors throughout, no energy lags whatsoever. The thread of the character arc was carried by a few BIG songs: “Wake Me Up When September Ends”; “Before the Lobotomy”. ( Terrence is playing the former as I write this blog.) Unusual way to plot the story, which I enjoyed when I got used to the style.
As to ONCE, I’ve seen the movie twice and the stage show the same amount of times, once in NYC and once in Boston, another Xmas gift, this time from my remaining two sons.
I liked the movie better. Didn’t like the musical score as much in the play and, unlike in American Idiot, I found the limited scene changes claustrophobic after a while. DH, of course, preferred ONCE to AI even though he’s the Green Day fan.
However — straightaway after our early arrival at the Opera House, we lined up to go on stage, which was set to look like the interior of an Irish Pub, complete with full liquor-serving bar. Though only 40 audience members were allowed up there at any given time, the stage quickly grew crowded, which only added to the authenticity. The distant view of the theatre from the stage was spectacular, as were the props and instruments up-close. Unfortunately, no pix allowed.
Terrence ordered a beer. No Guinness!!! And a straw in the plastic cup! HUH???? We could’ve stayed up there while the actors came on and launched into a medley of Irish tunes, but others were waiting, so we returned to our seats. Before too long, the audience smelled of Fenway Park. I LIKED IT.
But, I liked the movie more, even without the beer aroma.