When it comes to multi-disciplinary collaborations, it always helps things along if artists from different worlds hit it off on a personal level. And that's definitely what happened when Green Day guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong met Broadway director Michael Mayer while they were putting together the stage-musical version of "American Idiot." In no time at all, they were singing show tunes together.
"It was at a diner on Ninth Avenue," Mayer said in a recent interview. "The whole band was there, and Green Day is really [expletive] famous. They're not the sort of band that's going to be in a diner in New York's theater district in the middle of the afternoon too often. But there we were, singing 'Together, Wherever We Go.'"
"Yes, between Billie Joe's androgyny and [drummer] Tre Cool's pink boa and tasteful pumps, Green Day's always been very campy," Mayer continued. "The whole thing was so much fun. I knew that, in some weird way, this was a soul mate. It was a beautiful thing."
There is an "American Idiot" movie in the works. Meantime, however, the touring version of the musical opens at Raleigh's Memorial Auditorium on Tuesday. For lots more on that (including the local member of the stage band), see the story in Sunday's paper. The first two rows in the pit have been designated as "student rush tickets" for each "American Idiot" performance, available only the night of the show for $26. A student ID is required.
ADDENDUM (2/2/12): Roy Dicks' review.