The American Idiot marquee on Broadway.

Hi there J-14ers!

Two things I'm absolutely obsessed with? Rock bands and Broadway musicals. So you can imagine my excitement when one of my all-time fave bands, Green Day, announced that they were taking their greatest hits and weaving them into the rock musical, American Idiot.

I was lucky enough to catch a preview back in April just before the show opened… and W-O-W! Green Day's songs have always been the soundtrack to my life at one time or another… from the power ballads "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" and "Wake Me Up When September Ends" (dare I say, greatest music video of all time?!) to the rock-out jams "Holiday" and of course "American Idiot." But I never quite realized how they could be woven together into such a compelling coming-of-age story. It's the grittiness of modern-day musical like Rent meets the head-banging fun of a Green Day concert rolled into one.

And even though Billie Joe Armstrong, Tre Cool, and Mike Dirnt aren't there to perform the songs night after night on stage, they've been so involved with the production that the trio that lead the Broadway company — John Gallagher Jr., Stark Sands, and Michael Esper – capture the Green Day essence exactly right.

One of the show's highlights actually happens after the curtain call when the whole cast appears on stage with acoustic guitars singing "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"… as if the lyrics weren't moving enough, the powerful simplicity of the performance will definitely move you.

But the fun doesn't end there. On the way out of the theater, you'll pass through a hallway completely defaced graffiti-style with Sharpie marker messages from theatergoers. So of course, I had to join in the fun. What did I write on the wall for all to see? Take a look for yourself in the photo below! 😉

In essence American Idiot brings a whole new level of coolness to Broadway musicals — both on stage with the rock-out vibe and off stage with the interactive fun!

And if you aren't able to make it to New York City to catch the show, you can tune in to Good Morning America on ABC Friday morning, July 16, to catch the Broadway cast's special GMA Concert.

Check it out and let me know what you think!

Can't wait to hear from you!
Rachel Chang
J-14 Editor

AmericanIdiotCastByRachelChang.jpgMichael Esper (left) and Stark Sands (right) are two of the American Idiot cast members.

AmericanIdiotOnBroadwayWall.jpgInside the St. James Theater in New York City's Times Square, theatergoers are encouraged to write on the "Idiot" wall.

AmericanIdiotOnBroadwayRachelChangSigningWall.jpgHere I am (legally) defacing the wall… hmmm… what to write?

AmericanIdiotOnBroadwayTwit.jpgAh! Here's the perfect message for fellow American Idiot theategoers to see!

Photos: Courtesy of Rachel Chang (5)

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