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'American Idiot' to make L.A. debut at Ahmanson Theatre in March 2012

March 2, 2011 |  2:16 pm


The Broadway rock musical "American Idiot" -- which features hit songs by the punk band Green Day -- will be making its Los Angeles debut at the Ahmanson Theatre in March 2012. Organizers said the national tour will touch down at the Ahmanson from March 14 through April 22, 2012, with the official opening set for March 16.

"American Idiot" tells the story of three friends contending with war, religion, and other cataclysmic events. The musical had its world premiere in September 2009 at Berkeley Repertory and opened the following April at the St. James Theatre in New York, where it is still playing.

Directed by Michael Mayer, the show uses songs from the Green Day albums "American Idiot" and "21st Century Breakdown" and features a book by Mayer and Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong. The Broadway production received a Tony nomination for best musical, and won Tonys in the categories of scenic and lighting design.

Mayer previously directed the musical "Spring Awakening," which ran at the Ahmanson in 2008.

No casting information has been announced for the national tour, which kicks off in the fall, but producers are holding open casting calls for all roles  in L.A., Chicago, Toronto and Boston. (The L.A. audition will take place Saturday at the Debbie Reynolds Studio in North Hollywood.)

Tom Hulce, the "Amadeus" actor who serves as a producer on "American Idiot," said in a phone interview from New York that the open auditions are a reflection of the show's punk-music roots. "It is as connected to contemporary pop music as it is to Broadway," he said. "We are extremely interested in anyone who would like to come to us from the rock, pop and punk end of it."

Hulce said that it's too early to say how much of the national tour will be cast from the open calls, but he added that Armstrong will be involved with the final casting decisions. "We're excited to see what we find. It will be a fairly national and involved process," said Hulce.

In addition to the national tour, producers are have conversations about foreign territories as well, though nothing has been finalized.

"American Idiot" will be part of the Ahmanson's upcoming 2011-12 season, which also includes the new musical "Bring It On."


IdiotBillie Joe Armstrong, Green Day win musical show Grammy for 'American Idiot'

Critic's Notebook: 'American Idiot' and the fate of the contemporary musical

Green Day musical "American Idiot" moving to Broadway

Theater review: "American Idiot" at Berkeley Rep


-- David Ng

Photos:  Top, a  scene from the Berkeley Repertory production of "American Idiot." Bottom,  John Gallagher Jr. and Tony Vincent in the show. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times