Dr. Dre wonders if a swap is possible.
Dr. Dre has a lot of money.
Carrot Top has feelings of insecurity.
American Idiot, the new theatrical rendition by Berkeley Rep, feels like a finely tuned pageant dressed up as a musical. If you got all the disaffected, talented slacker kids together from the block…Sound familiar? Hair Meets Rent For the 21st Century?
The music is great. Lots of deeply moving ballads woven together with an angry punk sensibility. But where are those punks today? Are they still out on the streets shamed and screaming about the Idiot President who has, long since, departed the scene? Or are they a little more concerned about finding their slacker asses a job?
I say the latter, but the play says the former. And that is one of the two glaring deficiencies of the production: it’s a couple of years past its prime, the Bush Bashing Days, and a time to be angry at our country, over for most.
Number two, the narrative is weak (and pretty much non-existent), it focuses on three familiar plot lines: the boy who moves to the big city, the boy who stays home and gets his girl pregnant, and the boy who goes off to war. Stop this plot I want to get off!
Zero characterization, sparse dialogue, and absolutely no chance for the actors to act. This leaves only the music to star, and possibly, hopefully, further the plot. But that doesn’t happen because the lyrics are difficult to understand.
In rock n’ roll, you don’t hear the intricacies of the lyrics the first time through, you feel the vibe, baby. And you especially can’t hear the lyrics when they’re loud as all fuck and muffled by the earplugs you’re handed when you walk in the theater. Do I take them out? Put them in? Back out? It was awkward. (I took them out about 10 times during the show.) BTW, can someone please invent a remote control earplug for A.I. before it hits Broadway?
Broadway? High risk. Investors beware.
Advice: Just go buy the album, invite a few friends over, get high and rap about a country who finally seems to have gotten our slacker asses in gear.
P.S. Short people got no reason to live? Oh right, except for a well rehearsed photo-op. With me: ♫The house began to pitch. The kitchen took a slitch. It landed on the Wicked Witch in the middle of a ditch…Can we bone your hot wife now?♫
1. American Idiot Premiere
Green Day takes aim at a Broadway with this Berkeley Rep premiere musical. I take aim at Off-Off-Off Fresno with my premiere musical American Turd.
2. Dodgers vs. Giants
Will Dodgers get to play spoilers to their hated rivals once again? How many yahoos will still be chanting “Beat L.A.!” long after the Giants have packed for Cancun?
3. Chargers vs. Raiders
Will I survive getting from the parking lot to the stadium? Haven’t been to pro football game in ages. That’s what happens when you have a-hole bureaucrats in charge of bringing professional football to the second biggest market in the country — or not, Los Angeles!
4. Because Asian people turn me on
Actually, their food turns me on. Fortune cookie say: Someone read this, think your honky-ass is prejudice.
5. Hetereo girls outnumber hetereo guys at least 5 to 1
Will I find action in the City of the Pink Triangle (not that there’s-). Seriously, I’ve been in SF before, and when I put the look on a woman there, she always seems to do a double-take. And it’s not because of the large hump on my back. Must be continually frustrating for SF gals to discern who has the eligible penises of the bunch.
6. Noel Coward’s Brief Encounter
The Brits are coming! The Brits are coming! God, I hope they’re funny.
It’s like Gidget and Moon Doggie, but onstage. Or something like that. It’s billed as America’s longest-running musical revue. Jefferson and Franklin rumored to have gone there after signing Declaration of Indie.
8. Meet my oldest friend’s new born boy
And hope I don’t get puked on, or in a battle of who the kid looks like, the mom or pop? Um, the gardener?
Because it wouldn’t be a vacation if I didn’t make fun of something pretentious in a museum. White Canvas with Polka Dots on Wall, anybody?
10. Single guys can’t play Beatles Rock Band by themselves
But they can prolong the summer a little while longer with a vacation to SF — not to mention, taking the time to learn how to play a real f-ing guitar.
* Dude, yeah, that’s a lot of theater, and the question has come up: the answer is NO, I’m not gay. Heteros, I am telling you, lots of good stuff to be had at the theater. You just need to give it a chance and forget the bad Shakespeare Experience you had at 7, when you had to sit through a 4-hour version of Titus Andronicus done in Mandarin accompanied by Steven Seagal on the didgeridoo.