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Berkeley Rep announces cast for Green Day's 'American Idiot'

August 3, 2009 | 12:20 pm
Greenday

A Tony-winning actor and a handful of Broadway veterans are among the just-announced cast for "American Idiot," the new musical from the rock band Green Day. The show, based on the band's Grammy-winning 2004 album of the same name, is opening in September at Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

The production is being directed by Michael Mayer, who directed "Spring Awakening" on Broadway. Mayer collaborated with Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong on the story for the musical.

Featuring a live, onstage band, "American Idiot" is something of a rock picaresque, about a group of working-class characters as they travel from the suburbs to the big city to the Middle East.

Leading the youthful cast will be John Gallagher Jr., who won a featured-actor Tony in 2007 for his performance in "Spring Awakening." Gallagher will play the lead role of Johnny in the musical alongside a cast of 18 other actors.

Michael Esper, who debuted on Broadway last season in "A Man for All Seasons," will play Will; Mary Faber, who was seen in Broadway's "Avenue Q," will play Heather; and Rebecca Naomi Jones, who performed in "Passing Strange," is set to play a character called Whatsername. Also featured in the cast is Matt Caplan, Tony Vincent and Christina Sajous.

"American Idiot" will contain all of the songs in the original Green Day album, according to Berkeley Rep. The show will also feature several songs from Green Day’s recent "21st Century Breakdown."

-- David Ng

Photo: members of Green Day. Credit: Los Angeles Times

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