Let's just say that until recently, Broadway had always admired punk rock ... from a very great distance.
Then came Green Day's American Idiot. When Michael Mayer, the director of Spring Awakening, asked the band to let him make their multiplatinum 2004 concept album into a stage musical, the resulting punk opera blew out the doors at Berkeley Rep. Then it went on to spend a year on the Great White Way, playing to a half million people and grossing slightly south of $40 million, turning a "starkly disenchanting" record, in critic Paul Kolnik's words, into "the feel-good musical" of 2010.
Actually, you might want to check that "feel-good" part just a bit. Idiot follows three disillusioned guys, anesthetized on a steady diet of soda pop and Ritalin, on a modern-day odyssey as they try to claw their way out of the quicksands of suburbia. One heads to the city, another goes to war, and the third tries to find domestic contentment. Ultimately, they all come of age, with radically different results.
While we're waiting on Tom Hanks' production company to firm up a film version in the works, Broadway Series South and North Carolina Theatre present the professional touring version, Tuesday through Feb. 5. A discount ticket offer and a food truck rodeo are on tap for the 7:30 opening night performance, with six trucks—including Klausie's, KoKyu and the venerable Only Burger—serving on Lichtin Plaza starting at 5 p.m. The discount code ROCK gets you $32 orchestra and $22 mezzanine seats for the show. The rest of the week, tickets run $16–$75. —Byron Woods