American Idiot | Ford Center for the Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader

American Idiot New Review (Theater and Comedy) The Short List (Theater) Closing (Theater and Galleries)

When: Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through Feb. 19 2012

There's these three pals, see, and they're really fuckin' alienated from their fuckin' teenage suburban existence of TV, beer, and improper parenting. So they get their guitars and they're about to go on a fuckin' road trip, but Will has to stay home because his girlfriend is pregnant. But OK, Johnny and Tunny go anyway, and it's like stills-from-a-video fun for a little while, but Tunny goes off and fuckin' enlists just in time for some war, not sure which one. That leaves Johnny—who may be a Jesus figure but doesn't do anything actually Jesus-like, so maybe not. He meets the girl of his dreams and also Saint Jimmy, a sort of punk-glam drug dealer, and he loves the girl but his veins belong to Jimmy. Meanwhile, Tunny gets banged up good and permanent in the war, but that's kind of OK because he meets this totally devoted nurse who's like a belly-dancer angel. Then Johnny cleans up. Then everybody comes home and everything's OK, but I don't know why. But that’s OK, too, because everything they do they do to Green Day songs and this sort of semaphore-signal choreography that looks like it comes from Spring Awakening—and does, in a way, since the show was cowritten and directed by Michael Mayer, who did Spring Awakening—only here the signals are meaningless. And the whole thing is like 90 minutes of angry-sad-angry-sad-angry-sad. The touring cast is big and young and really good, but Joshua Kobak totally kicks ass as Saint Jimmy. —Tony Adler

Price: $27-$95



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