Curtain Call: Skyline Creek Productions’ American Idiot: The Musical

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Who: Skyline Creek Productions
What: Green Day’s American Idiot (live theater)
When: 2016-04-29 - 2016-05-01
American Idiot: The Musical will make a Southern Illinois run between April 29 and May 2 at the Mari
Craig Wilson

American Idiot: The Musical will make a Southern Illinois run between April 29 and May 2 at the Marion Cultural and Civic Center. It’s an award-winning stage adaptation of pop-punk band Green Day’s concept album American Idiot structured as a sung-through punk-rock opera. Marion’s show, directed by Sam Bursich, is brought to life by a local cast and regional musicians.

The musical first came into being last decade when theater director Michael Mayer, known for his work in Spring Awakening, approached Green Day about bringing the 2004 album to the stage. The premise was further developed from a book cowritten by Mayer and Green Day vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong. The musical score includes not only the American Idiot album but other material including original numbers written for the show.

After its Berkeley premiere in 2009, the show went to Broadway for another year. Armstrong appeared as the character Saint Jimmy on and off during the run. Green Day didn’t appear in the show as a band, but played alongside the cast at a gala closing celebration. The musical won two Tony Awards in 2010 and received a nomination for Best Musical; the Broadway cast recording received a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. An international tour took place between 2011 and 2014; there were more shows in the United States as well as in Scandinavia and the West End. It’s headed to Rio de Janeiro in 2017.

The Marion production will have a five-piece stage band of local musicians consisting of Joe Palermo and Eric Bandera on guitars, Jeff Beers on bass, Grady Adams on drums, and Derek Hamblin on keyboards. All vocals will be sung by the cast.

Bursich told Nightlife that the musical is “an amazing experience like nothing else. I don’t think many people in this area have seen such a thing.”

Derek Hamblin, who is also the musical and orchestra director, said, “This is the first and probably the only time the musical will play in Southern Illinois. It’s exciting to be the musical director.”

The plot centers on a trio of young people unhappily living in Jingletown, USA in the wake of September 11; wars are raging. Johnny, Will, and Tunny are old friends feeling alienated from their suburban environment. Johnny, played by Zachery Stout, calls himself the Jesus of Suburbia and challenges his friends to break out of their frustration; he manages to get bus tickets for the three to go the city. The friends’ circle is disrupted by an unexpected pregnancy that causes Will, played by Joey Vargas, to drop out from the trip.

Johnny and Tunny, played by Dylan Kroder, take off for the city with other restless youth. Johnny gets into hard drugs and manifests a split personality character, Saint Jimmy, the drug-dealing rebel, played here by Kaleb Triplett. The friends go their separate ways when Johnny falls in love with the woman in the window, and Tunny, in a misplaced personal quest, enlists in the Army. The pivotal features of the story are set at this juncture.

Viewers should be aware the show contains mature language and themes.

The Friday and Saturday performances take place at 7 p.m., while the Sunday matinee begins at 2 p.m.

Tickets are $15. For tickets, stop by or call the civic center box office at (618) 997-4030 or visit <>.

who: Skyline Creek Productions

what: Green Day’s American Idiot (live theater)

where: Marion Cultural and Civic Center


when: Friday, April 29 through Sunday, May 1