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'Broadway Idiot' review: Superficial Green Day show documentary goes backstage

17 October 2013 6:40 AM, PDT | Pop2it | See recent Pop2it news »

Getting a Broadway show up and running is a journey often fraught with drama, hurt feelings and failure. Happy endings are rare and best appreciated if we know the struggle, revisions, hard work and tough casting and re-casting decisions it took to achieve success.

Much of that is missing from "Broadway Idiot," a tuneful but extremely superficial slice of cinematic triumphalism celebrating the conversion of Green Day's 2004 concept album, "American Idiot," into a stage musical that ran for 422 performances at Broadway's St. James Theatre. Producers had to update a Bush-era screed about suburban angst and post-9/11 American ennui into something that felt fresh in 2009-10.

Though we're treated to some wonderful moments and we develop a pretty thorough understanding of the back story on the songs and the era that spawned this angry, defiant, anarchic song cycle, there's never a discouraging word uttered in "Broadway Idiot's" 80 minutes. 

We don't see the casting process, »


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Green Day Documentary ‘Broadway Idiot’ Hits Theaters in October

22 August 2013 9:56 AM, PDT | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

Broadway Idiot,” the documentary feature chronicling the creation of the legit musical version of Green Day album “American Idiot,” is on tap for release this fall in theaters and on VOD through a distribution partnership between FilmBuff and Abramorama.

Produced by Doug Hamilton, the doc’s director, and Broadway vet Ira Pittelman (“American Idiot,” “Spring Awakening”), “Broadway Idiot” bowed earlier this year at South by Southwest and also opened the Newport Beach Film Fest. Movie follows Green Day’s entry into the Broadway world as band frontman Billie Joe Armstrong collaborated with helmer Michael Mayer (“Spring Awakening”) to translate Green Day’s hit 2004 concept album into the stage tale of three hometown buddies’ journey to adulthood in the media-saturated 21st century.

Initially the brainchild of Tony winner Mayer, “American Idiot” eventually preemed at Berkeley Rep in 2009 ahead of 2010 opening on Broadway with a cast that included John Gallagher Jr. (“The Newsroom »

- Gordon Cox

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