Saturday 4 January 2014

American Idiot the Musical lights up the Place des Arts

The 2009 Tony Award-winning musical American Idiot, featuring the incredible music from GreenDay’s 2004 Grammy Award-winning album of the same name, has stopped in Montreal for a brief two day stay at the  Placedes Arts. A pair of shows took place on Saturday, January 4, with the finale set for Sunday, January 5 at 4 p.m.

This is essentially a show based on the lives of three male best friends: Johnny, Will and Tunny whose lives go in complete different directions. An  energetic young cast of 16 is backed up by a band and a pretty effective set featuring 25 television monitors. The musical begins with a series of news flashes, including the voice of former American President George W. Bush. This all takes place after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. The show itself gets off to a very energetic start, with the actual song “American Idiot” being played out. 

The virtually sold out Salle Wilfred Pelletier audience at my showing ate it all up. There were clearly loads of Green Day fans in the crowd. Keep in mind that the subject matter is for mature audiences, there is a lot of profanity and the music is very very loud. While the actual dialogue was sometime difficult to hear clearly, I took advance of the two large simultaneous translation screens on each side of the stage.

As the storyline goes, Will stays behind because his girlfriend is pregnant; Tunny goes to war; and Will moves to the big city.   There are 21 songs in all and this is a 90-minute production straight through without any intermission. Besides “American Idiot,”  the audience seemed to really appreciate some other popular hits such as “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “21 Guns,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,  “21st Century Breakdown,” and an unreleased love song, “When It’s Time.”

 It is a great show and with the very few Broadway productions which roll through Montreal, one worth trying to get tickets for on Sunday. For more information go to or

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