Art News Roundup Lakewood Playhouse presents ‘American Idiot’

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Lakewood Playhouse presents the rock opera “American Idiot,” based on the hit album by Green Day. Book and lyrics are by Michael Meyer and Billie Joe Armstrong. Music is by Green Day.

The show runs Jan. 5-28 and is the third show of Lakewood Playhouse’s 79th season.

The musical will be performed on Fridays, Saturdays at 8 p.m. and Sundays at 2 p.m. Special showings are scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 11 at 8 p.m. (pay what you can night) and Thursday, Jan. 18, 8 p.m.  (pay what you can actors’ benefit). Ticket prices are $30 (general admission), $28 (military and seniors) and $25 (students and educators).

Presented in the Lakewood Playhouse’s thrust configuration with seating facing the stage as well as on both of its sides, this staging will place audiences in the middle of this epic rock opera.

This South Sound premiere is directed by Lakewood Playhouse Managing Artistic Director John Munn and musically directed by Deborah L. Armstrong (the team behind such past Playhouse hits as “Monty Python’s Spamalot” and “The Pirates of Penzance”). It will also feature the Lakewood Playhouse debut of choreographer Ashley Roy.

The production features an all-star roster of local actors including:  Mark Alford (Johnny), Cooper Harris Turner (Will), Tony Williams (Tunny), Dani Hobbs (Whatsername), Kiana Norman-Slack (Heather), Ashley Roy (Extraordinary Girl), Shannon Burch (St. Jimmy), Callan Barth (Ben), Keoni Dilay (Andrew), Dominic Girolami (Declan), Dylan Rivers (Chase), Gabriel Cornett (Favorite Son/Josh), Atom Hill (Brian), Orlando Shelly (Gerard), Xander Layden (Theo), Kadi Burt (Alyshia), Karly Dammel (Anjuli), Maddy Banouvong (Leslie), Natassia Reynolds (Mary), Christine Choate (Christina) and Sara Geiger (Rebecca).

In the Tradition of The Who’s “Tommy” and Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” comes a rock opera for this generation. Johnny, Tunny and Will struggle to find meaning in a post-9/11 world. When the three disgruntled men flee the constraints of their hometown for the thrills of city life, their paths are quickly estranged when Tunny enters the armed forces, Will is called back home to attend to familial responsibilities, and Johnny’s attention becomes divided by a seductive love interest and a hazardous new friendship. An energy-fueled rock opera, “American Idiot,” features little dialogue and instead relies on the lyrics from Green Day’s groundbreaking album to execute the story line.

Parental advisory: This rock opera contains adult language and situations. It also portrays some drug use and its after effects.

The Lakewood Playhouse was founded in 1938 and has established itself with theatre that is both intimate and epic. The theatre is located within the Lakewood Towne Center, 5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd., Lakewood. For further information about “Green Day’s American Idiot” please contact the box office at the Lakewood Playhouse (253) 588-0042 or make any e-mail queries to Munn, at jmunn.lakewoodplayhouse@gmail.com. For more, visit www.lakewoodplayhouse.org.

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