Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong has always been willing to discuss his love of the Who, but it’s hard to imagine that the young SoCal punk singing about masturbation in the early ’90s ever thought he’d see his music turned into possibly the most vaunted rock opera since
, an album that shocked the world with its grandiosity in the buildup to the 2004 election, has come somewhat back into favor now that the ultimate mission of
—getting Bush out of the White House and getting erstwhile slackers off their asses—have both become realities. Now, a full fledged musical is being planned for a September debut at the Berkeley Repertory Theater’—and if the production team is any indication, Broadway may not be that far away.
Director Michael Mayer, who won a Tony-award for directing the youthful, rock infused
, was at the helm of launching the project. While in rehearsal for
musical about breaking through the puritanical conformity of 19th century Germany with sexual and intellectual liberation, Mayer found inspiration from Green Day’s
and its hit single "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." He and his production team approached Green Day about pursuing a show—to which the band, shocked that someone would even partake in the idea, consented:
It doesn’t make a lot of sense,” Mr. Armstrong, the Green Day singer and guitarist, said of this new partnership in a telephone interview, “but that’s what I love about it. When people see it, it’s going to be my wildest dream.
Of course, there have been an endless stream of Broadway flops in recent years that have tried to milk the legacy of famous musicians like Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, John Lennon, and Elvis with “jukebox musicals.” The rock musicals that have succeeded have put a heavier emphasis on plot—however flimsy—such as
’s with Abba or
’s take on Billy Joel.
, however, aready has a fully-formed, pre-packaged plot to work with, one that is heavily influenced by
, a rock opera that had a successful Broadway run in the early ’90s.
There is no word yet on how the book/libretto for the adaptation will be handled, and Armstrong has admitted, ““It’s not the most linear story in the world.” The news comes as Green Day is prepping the release of its second rock opera album,
21st Century Breakdown
New York Times