PEMBROKE — The words “punk rock” don’t usually find their way into discussions about musical theatre, but did in 2010 when the hit musical “American Idiot” made its Broadway debut.
On April 15, The University of North Carolina at Pembroke will be host to the raucous production.
The 8 p.m. show, which will be performing for one night only at the Givens Performing Arts Center, is a stage adaptation of popular California punk rock band Green Day’s 2004 concept album of the same name.
Like the album, the rock opera follows the story of three boyhood friends, each searching for meaning in a post 9/11 world.
The album had been a reaction by Green Day front-man Billie Joe Armstrong to the administration of then-president George W. Bush, and Armstrong’s own frustration with what he felt was passive ignorance on the part of many Americans. Though the Bush administration is over, GPAC Executive Director Patricia Fields feels that the show will still resonate with many young people today.
“Things have changed but people are always going to have a variety opinions, and the war remains a hot-button issue which is touched on in the show as well,” Fields said. “The show has been continuing to go strong on tour.”
Fields said that GPAC chose not to make the show part of its usual main-stage season lineup as she felt that some of the profanity used in the production could offend season-ticket holders.
“We have had a really positive response from our student body,” Fields said. “It is high energy, fun and just a fantastic evening for audiences.”
Fields says that the touring version of the production has remained true to the original Broadway production, which received a 2010 Tony Award nomination for best musical and took home best musical album at the 2010 Grammy Awards.
The production features the songs “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “21 Guns,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “Holiday” and the title track “American Idiot” as well as songs from Green Day’s 2009 release “21st Century Breakdown,” and an unreleased love song, “When It’s Time.”
James Johnson works for Civitas Media as a staff writer for The Robesonian.