Green Day American Idiot – The italian Musical
The Italian musical theater has been getting a revolution with “Green Day’s American Idiot” directed by Marco Iacomelli at the Teatro della Luna until February 12 .
A tale of formation, written by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer, winner of two Tony Awards®, is the first punk rock opera performed in Italy.
We went this past January 29 and it was an afternoon full of surprises. The set design, staging and live band did not disappoint, all of them filled with energy from the first song of Green Day’s “American Idiot” and made us think about when we were twenty years …
The energy of the 21 talented young actors, a live band … all of it is awesome, the Green Day’s music, set designs inspired by Basquiat, videomapping, strobe lights, are all elements that you will be able to enjoy for the Italian tour, third production in the world after Broadway and London.
“Green Day’s American Idiot” is also a STM – the Musical Theatre School co-production, Fondazione Teatro Coccia and Reverse Agency production, with the support of Fondazione CRT, which gave us the opportunity to discover a very young cast, full of enthusiasm.
And so we have heard live beautiful voices like Luca Gaudiano’s, and the female cast that, I would say for once really kicked men’s asses!
We contacted the cast to answer a few questions about the show. The three main male actors (Ivan Iannacci, Renato Crudo and a very talented Luca Gaudiano) and two women of the creative cast Rosemary Amodeo and Gloria Fabbri have responded to us.
Here it is…
It’s amazing that this album, after 13 years, still has so much story to tell … Since you are very young, What was your experience related to the album?
IVAN Iannacci (JOHNNY): The album “American Idiot” has accompanied me on a big chunk of my teenage years. When I was in junior high school it was my world.
The nicest thing I have done was remain a moment on stage in silence and remind me of when I would come home and would mime Billie Joe Armstrong in front of the mirror singing the album by heart from beginning to end. Of course, then you realize that it’s never how you imagined as a child, there are difficulties, problems to be addressed, but every time I step on stage everything just disappear. What remains however is that little Ivan who mimed Billie Joe in front of the mirror shouting: “I’m the son of rage and love!”
With American Idiot, we have both a rock concert with a Broadway style performance, how do you mix the two worlds?
RENATO Crudo (Tunny): Actually, at the beginning I have asked this question too. Then, when we found ourselves to get the show together with the director, Marco Iacomelli, we realized that the pieces were extremely consequential to each other. Besides, the Concept album “American Idiot” has within itself an actual story. In this we have been facilitated, then of course we were inspired by Green Day, studying their moves, and the way of approaching their audience: we have had the opportunity to attend two of their concerts held in Italy, What a chance it was!
After so many years, why do you think the public is still coming in too see American Idiot? What was the Italian reaction to the show?
LUCA Gaudiano (WILL): I believe that with a title like “American Idiot” It is not necessary to worry about the consent of the public. Perhaps it is more appropriate to pay attention to do a good job in construction. The Italian response has been more than positive! Although the lyrics are not translated, the paintings created by our director Marco Iacomelli, suggest the meaning of the lyrics through the power of music and the management of screenplay-technical devices of last generation. The audience is living the story with us, we see them get excited, have fun. I think we could not have a better answer.
Very interesting the idea of using illustrations inspired by Basquiat graffiti for set design. Tell us about the creative process that created this beautiful scenery.
ROSEMARY AMODEO: The main reason is the fact that the style of Basquiat reflected very well the strength and the desire for change which is spoken in the show. So, after a thorough research and given the story of the characters, the illustrations came very naturally. Through the pictures I tried to reinforce the key points of the stories told on stage, decomposing images, writings and synthesizing forms. It was a very challenging job, I’ve been experimenting with various techniques, from painting to digital: the goal was also to communicate energy with the use of color, vivid and direct, putting together the primary colors and creating contrasts. Seeing on stage the final version of the project was exciting and I really hope to have transmitted what I had in mind.
Can you tell us about the creative process by which outfits were selected? Can you make a few examples of your choice of style by character? How do they fit into the set design inspired by the Basquiat graffiti?
GLORIA FABBRI: As an assistant I joined Carla Ricotti during the first meetings with the director. In this phase we were comparing ideas and options, viewing the project.
Being a contemporary musical just a few costumes were made on purpose, while many others were acquired or selected by the sponsors and then modified as needed. Punk rock scene and underground atmospheres were also in the costumes! They were thought of as a second descriptive skin.
The inhabitants of Jingletown are projections with full colors and t-shirts hand-painted with subjects and clippings extrapolated from large paintings by Basquiat perfectly consistent with the discomfort of a generation with no certainties.
Total black scuffs and scratches instead were worn by St. Jimmy and his followers marked in their bodies with the drug, ephemeral outburst.
Watch the trailer for “Green Day’s American Idiot” directed by Marco Iacomelli
The musicals have always fascinated me because it is a bit of a collision between music and art, but it was the first time I saw one out of the States, and I find it very interesting to see the different approach we have in Europe.
A more passionate approach, less “professional” without detracting anything from the Italian talented cast. Perhaps an approach that looks more similar to what the Green Day have tried to convey in their albums, a youth full of dreams, disappointments, but that never loses its energy to go ahead. I found it very refreshing and full of good anger .
And in the end, I also got emotional on the final song “Time of my life” because at some point in our lives, I think we all try to chase our dreams …