American Idiot to Close on Broadway
The announcement which came after a very difficult week for the rock musical was no surprise to the Broadway theatre community. On February 27th, Billie Joe Armstrong, John Gallagher Jr. and Michael Esper all departed the production. All 3 had been with the production from its beginning in California. John Gallagher Jr. and Michael Esper both performed in the production while Billie Joe worked with Michael Mayer on adapting the musical from the album title of the same name. Replacing the 3 huge stars are Van Hughes, AFI’s lead singer Davey Havok and Justin Guarini. While the 3 replacements are “names” like those who came before them, they’re names proved to not be enough for this rock musical.
Also, when it comes to weekly grosses, American Idiot reported a gross loss of $1 million dollars this week. They had been averaging about $1.3 million dollars a week before the departure of Armstrong, Gallagher Jr. and Esper. However, for the new week with the new stars, American Idiot reported only a average of $395,275. The million dollar loss was a huge blow to the show and caused the speculation that a closing notice would soon be posted. It was also reported that every Broadway show lost money this week, American Idiot’s was the steepest.
Luner on Theatre previously reported on American Idiot’s dramatic change in production and predicted a closing notice coming soon. You can view that article here
When American Idiot closes, it will have played 421 performances and 27 previews. It currently is playing at the St. James theatre after transferring last year from Berkeley Repertory Theatre’s Roda Theatre which is located in California. The production was conceived and directed by Tony Award Winner Michael Mayer. Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day’s frontman, also helped conceive the musical. The creative team also boosts Tony Award-winning orchestrator Tom Kitt and Olivier Award-winning choreographer Steven Hoggett.
The production received solid reviews after opening and was even nominated for 3 Tony Awards including the Tony Award for Best Musical. It won the Tony Award for Best Scenic and Lighting Design of a Musical which is rightfully deserved.
American Idiot will not totally disappear however. A national tour set to launch in the fall is already in the works. It will tour the country and will help bring the Green Day rock musical to those who could not get themselves to see the production in New York. A schedule will be announced soon.
Exciting news for the production despite the sad circumstances is that Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong will return to the production yet again in the role of St. Jimmy for the final 3 weeks of the production beginning April 5th. It seems only fitting that Armstrong, the mastermind behind many different aspects of the show, play the show on its way out.
American Idiot will continue will to play at the St. James theatre in New York City until April 24th, 2011. Luner on Theatre will report back on anymore information and news reported on American Idiot. For more information, check out American Idiot’s Official Website