Advertisements

Tag Archives: Jordan Roth

Happy Anniversary American Idiot and Billie Joe Armstrong at AI Idiot University

First of all, Happy 6th Anniversary today, American Idiot! The album was released on 9/20-9/21/04 in the UK and US, so take some time to revisit the album and say, happy anniversary to it!

Billie Joe Armstrong, Michael Mayer, and some cast and crew of American Idiot on Broadway held a series of “talkbacks” last week at the St. James Theater, moderated by David Cote of Time Out New York, after the show happened from 9/14-9/19. I was lucky enough to attend three performances of the show (thank you Jenne and David! much love to you!) and all five talkbacks (two of which I…uh… just walked in on), and I have to say, it was a special and wonderful time to not only see Billie Joe talk about the show, but to hear great discussions regarding the creative processes of the show itself.

My blog was mentioned at the talkback! Woot! David Cote referred to my interview of Afghan war vet and hardcore Green Day fan, Dawn71, using it as a basis to relate how the show of American Idiot (see video below at 1:01-2:32) reflects real life in terms of war and the impact that it has on life. In the clip below when Green Day Mind is mentioned, Billie Joe kind of shrugs and laughs, saying that “He had never heard of the blog,” but it was pretty amazing for me to sit in the audience and have David refer to the blog in a very serious manner. My blog is kind of strange — a personal journey of sight, sound, performance and life — all from the viewpoint of this past year following Green Day. I’ve put a lot of work and love and rage and time into this crazy blogging project, and though it was a bit strange to have him chuckle at first, it was awesome to hear one of my more serious blog posts used to highlight one of the serious themes of American Idiot. Dawn71 was hella happy to know that her love for the band and a story of her life was mentioned as well. Watch the video below to see!

David Cote mentions “Green Day Mind” at American Idiot Talkback (1:01-2:32)- American Idiot on Broadway — 9/15/10 — sundaymorning6am

The talkbacks themselves, minus the impromptu audience questions, were pretty awesome. I heard some things about the creative process of the show, particularly from the designers, that I had never heard before, and it was pretty great to have the mix of actors come into the talks to discuss the show from their viewpoint. It was all about Billie Joe, though, who was at the center of the maelstrom, and as the week of talkbacks wore on, questions from the audience stopped being serious ones asked about the show, but devolved more into, “can you sing ‘happy birthday’ to my daughter, ‘can I have a hug,’ and ‘can I give you something, Billie Joe?'” It was cool, though. Most folks never get the chance to meet Billie Joe in person, and hey, if you have the opportunity, you have to go for it!

Though American Idiot itself is more of a personal journey and not necessarily a political one (I’ve always looked at it politically moreso than personally, but the album itself is as much personal as anything else), I have to say, that the album literally dragged me through the latter years of the Bush Administration. I truly don’t know what I would have done without it. Thank you, Green Day, for being one of the few bands of the day that dared to speak out against what Billie Joe referred to at one point as the “regime of the Bush administration.” Billie Joe refers to the time of the album being written and the political and social happenings of those dark days after 9/11, below:

Billie Joe, John Gallagher, Jr. Talks About the Depiction of War in American Idiot on Broadway and the Response of War at the Release of the album, American Idiot— bwaddel996

All in all, it was a great time spent with Billie Joe and the people involved in the musical. I was very happy that I had the opportunity to witness the talks. I also went to see John Gallagher, Jr. perform at Rockwood Music Hall on 9/19, and he’s such a nice guy that he talked with a bunch of us crazy fans after the show. He really is a sweet kid! My friend Michelle, of Lucky17 Photography, took a bunch of great pictures at both the final talkback and at John’s show, and when she posts them on her blog, I’ll let you know. Meanwhile, I have a few blurry photographs that I took, but a couple of them I just absolutely adore.

Billie Joe with PBR Cans for Autographs - Photo by Green Day Mind

I have never asked the band to sign anything — I sorta hate getting autographs — and the only two pictures I have of me with members of the band were taken by other people (Billie Joe and Mike Dirnt, which was actually taken by Dirnt himself without me asking, good times!), but I just felt that I had to get at least one thing signed, so I did… a new variation of “AWESOME AS FUCK” that Abbey (who Billie Joe tweeted at that he loved, lol, good for Abbey!) came up with, “IDIOT AS FUCK.” Thanks, Billie Joe! UPDATE: Abbey asked Billie Joe and Michael Mayer a pretty long and intense question at the talkback, and I loved the answers given by both men regarding the show. See the video below:

Idiot as Fuck Signed by BJA

Abbey Fox (aka abbie) Asks Billie Joe and Michael Mayer a Question — Whiting1ful

All in all, these talkbacks, combined with Billie Joe and Michael Mayer interviewed by Jordan Roth of the Jujamcyn Theaters at the 92StY on 9/19, were… how shall I say… awesome as fuck, and at times, Idiot as fuck as well. Thank you, American Idiot for the good times! Billie Joe left New York on Monday, to head back to the Bay. Have a great vacay before you head off to South America, and say hello to Mike and Tre for us! I missed them.

Advertisements

American Idiot University at the St. James Theater

American Idiot on Broadway - Click on Image to Stream Album for the Week!

It’s been awhile since I last posted, but I’ve been a bit busy. After attending Green Day’s three shows in California (Irvine, Chula Vista and San Francisco) from August 31-September 5, I spent ten more glorious days in the Bay Area and was… how shall we say… a practicing Lushotologist. I was not necessarily drinking… but I was absorbing all good things that life (or vacation) in the East Bay has to offer. It was magnificent!

I returned to New York City this past Monday and immediately went to work… and to see American Idiot on Broadway and attend “American Idiot University.” This week the show is hosting a series of talkbacks moderated by lead theater critic of Time Out New York, David Cote, for Broadway Week. Billie Joe Armstrong and AI director Michael Mayer are being joined by various cast members (Tuesday night was Theo Stockman, Declan Bennant and Cristina Sajous; Wednesday night was John Gallagher, Jr., Michael Esper and Gerard Canonico), along with set designer Christine Jones, lighting designer Kevin Adams, arranger Tom Kitt, costume designer, Andrea Lauer, music director Carmel Dean, video and production designer, Darrel Maloney, and associate choreographer, Lorrin Lataro.

David Cote was the perfect moderator for the two talkbacks I’ve seen so far (I sneaked into the Tuesday talkback (ssshhh) while friends invited me to attend the show tonight and tomorrow) and led a lively discussion among Billie Joe, Michael Mayer, the creative team and the cast regarding the album, its translation to the stage and the creative impetus of the show. (Full disclosure: I’ve known David since the 1990s and he’s one of the few critics whose opinions I actually trust; we discussed the show earlier this week.) After tomorrow’s talkback — which consisted of about 20 minutes of discussion with the creative team and cast members and 15 minutes of questions from the audience — I hope to post more about the actual discussion itself, but as you know, I’m a bit behind reporting on the California shows as it is, so don’t hold your breath.

There will be three more opportunities to attend American Idiot University: Thursday, September 16th @ 8pm; Friday, September 17th @ 8pm and Sunday, September 19th @ 3pm. Students can buy tickets for $27 depending on availability, but anyone can attend the talkback afterward. I… uh… don’t necessarily recommend sneaking in for the talkbalk like some jerks that I know… me.

As a special bonus for Broadway Week, you can stream for free the entirety of the American Idiot cast album. Click on the cast album cover or here to do so while you can!

Here are a few tiny blurry shots that I took tonight with my iPhone; click on the tiny image to view larger, but still blurry, images.



Coming up this Sunday, the president of the Jujamcyn Theaters including the St. James Theater, Jordan Roth, will be leading talks with Billie Joe and Michael Mayer at the 92nd Street Y in New York City. (For more information on the event, click here.) Audience questions can be submitted to Roth via Twitter at http://twitter.com/jordan_roth.

I’ll be there on Sunday… with an actual ticket. See you there!


Vote for Me to Win A Trip to Lollapalooza! (And some other stuff, too)

Lollapalooza Vote Now for Fan Photo! Help Us Go to Lollapalooza!

I have exactly three photographs of me with celebrities besides those few friends of mine that I know from undergraduate theater school who are still making great theater and a living from it. Those three are: Regis Philbin (I used to work as a researcher for Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?), Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt. One day I hope to have a picture with Tre Cool, but we’ll see if that ever happens.

I don’t really like asking “celebrities” for their photos. I can’t really pinpoint why I don’t like it, but it might be because I do know people in the “business,” and know how sometimes it’s just creepy to want people to talk to and take pictures of you all the time. I always feel like pictures should be taken of friends, families and things, not people I don’t know. I’m just strange, what can I say? That doesn’t mean I don’t begrudge others who ask for pictures, I don’t, but I would really just want to hang out, so unless folks are around what I consider friends, I don’t really take a lot of pictures of people that I don’t know that’s not in a performance setting.

Anyway, with that long, tortured intro, one of the three people that I do have a picture with, superstar Mike Dirnt of Green Day (and superstar-in-training, Jim Graz of Honah Lee!), I entered into a contest to try and win tickets, roundtrip air fare and hotel to Lollapalooza, which is coming up in hotter-than-hell-in-the-summertime, Chicago, August 6-8 or something. I should probably go and look that up… hmmm.

Vote for the picture, if you’d like! I kinda love it, it’s crazy funny to me, and that’s the way I like my celebrity photographs. If I win, I’m taking Jim and his girlfriend… yawzah… HOT. Here’s the link to my photo and entry. You can click on the photo below, too!

Mike, Jim of Honah Lee and Me. Click to Vote to Help Us See Mike and Company at Lollapalooza!

The vivacious Toniann is also in the contest, so take a look at hers, too! She has a lot more PR personality than me, but you can vote for more than one person per 24-hour time period. The contest ends on July 25th. Please vote! I’d love to go to Lollapalooza, but, who wouldn’t want to go when Green Day is playing at the festival? I’ve never been to one of them, and Soundgarden (yea, I know, I know, I love them, get over it) is also headlining one of the nights. Here’s to me!

You do have to fill out a short registration form to enter, but I do hope you’ll vote!

I tried to find my photo of me and Regis, but it’s no where to be found. It was taken prior to the digital era and is actually just on paper. Actually, it’s only from 2001, but that seems like ages in Internet years. Anyway, here’s my only other pure celebrity photo, with Billie Joe. I could only submit one photo to the contest, so I had to make a choice. I love both of the photos, but the one with Mike and Jim just makes me laugh a good bellylaugh, so I had to go with it. It’s from the Foxboro Hot Tubs show at Don Hill’s, one of the best nights of my life. The photo below of Billie Joe Armstrong and me is from what I call, “Fake New Years,” back in November when Green Day taped their New Years Eve show for Carson Daly in Los Angeles.

Me and some dude

Green Day Show in Venice Canceled

I was going to write about the canceled Venice show with the wind and hail and evil Venice weather, but it kinda made me so sad to think that the European tour ended by storm, that I didn’t want to think too much about it, so I didn’t write it, but I do have an awesome title for it, “Green Day in Europe Goes Out With a Storm – Venice Canceled Due to Various Acts of God (y’know, Thunder, Lightning, Hail),” haha… I felt really bad for the fans in Venice who didn’t get to see the boys, and I’m sad that the boys didn’t get to go out of Europe with a bang that ended in fireworks instead of lightning. The GDA covered it here [LINK] and here [LINK]

American Idiot on Broadway Cast on Good Morning, America[n Idiot]

This coming Friday, the cast of American Idiot on Broadway will be headlining a Good Morning, America broadcast at Summerstage in Central Park. It’s hella early, but I’m going to go. Here’s info from greenday.com:

You are invited to join the Broadway cast of Green Day’s American Idiot for a free, live concert on Good Morning America in New York’s Central Park! The intimate performance will be at Central Park’s Summerstage this Friday, July 16th. Enter on 72nd and 5th Ave at 6:00AM. The show will take place from 7am-9am EST.

Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer Talk With Jordan Roth

Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer will be interviewed by Jordan Roth, head of the Jujamcyn Theaters, of which the St. James, where American Idiot is playing, is one. Roth hosts a series of theater talks at the 92 Street Y.

Here’s the info and a link where you can get tickets:
Date & Time: Sun, Sep 19, 2010, 7:30pm
Location: Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street
Venue: Kaufmann Concert Hall Seating Chart
Price: $29.00 All Sections

Prima Donna in New York and Hoboken, July 25-26!

Star Fucking Hipsters and Prima Donna at Maxwell's, July 26, 2010. CM Productions

I need to take a few more days off from the blog, I have some work that I have to get finished, but one last thing! Prima Donna will be coming to NYC later in the month to rock our socks off at the Bowery Electric in Manhattan and Maxwell’s in Hoboken on July 25th and July 26th. I’ll post more about the dates as they get nearer. Hope to see you there! The Maxwell’s show is with Star Fucking Hipsters, that’s gonna be a rocking crazy night!

I’ll be back in a couple of days! Please don’t forget to vote!