The ghost of Rent hangs heavily on the shoulders of American Idiot the musical.
What made the Jonathan Larson rock opera so great is serious lacking, unfortunately, from the Green Day stage adaptation of their album.
We caught American Idiot on its opening night Wednesday at the Ahmanson theater in Los Angeles, and while we did not have an awful time, we did find the show to be disappointing. It felt very one-note to us.
Angst! Angst! And more angst!
What made Rent such a well-rounded and appealing show is that it is not just about the drama in the lives of young people, but it is also a celebration! It was pathos, but it was mixed with La Vie Boheme!
That joie de vivre is sorely missing from American Idiot. It's the same reason why we thoroughly dislike Spring Awakening.
There's only so much whining we can take!
We really weren't invested in the characters, didn't care if they lived or died, but we did think all the actors were great. The staging and direction was fine, and the projections were awesome.
The choreography, however, was a big distraction. The way it was done just did not work for us. Oh, and all that strobe lighting nearly gave us a seizure! And we're not even epileptic!
Idiot's saving grace, though, is the SUPER STELLAR music by Green Day. Those songs are so much better than the show!
If it had more UPLIFTING moments - like in the encore when they sing Time Of Your Life - and if the book was majorly reworked so we cared about all the characters, the musical would be a lot more compelling!