In 2004, the band GREEN DAY released their 7th album entitled AMERICAN IDIOT. Time Magazine proclaimed it "a MASTERPIECE", Amp welcomed it to "an ELITE list of albums including The Who's TOMMY, Pink Floyd's THE WALL and The Beatles SGT PEPPER'S LONELY HEART'S CLUB BAND that successfully weave a narrative through music", Rolling Stone acclaimed it as "FEARLESS" and "POLITICALLY ASTUTE", "a RICHLY MELODIC song suite that gives voice to disenfranchised suburban Americans" and Entertainment Weekly celebrated its "IRRESISTIBLE PASSION and INTENSITY". The album went on to win two Grammy Awards: Best Rock Album as well as Record of the Year for the hit single 'Boulevard of Broken Dreams', and has sold over 12 million copies to date.
In June of 2008, fueled by a passion for the story embedded in the album and possessed of a desire to unearth and expand upon it, acclaimed Tony Award-winning director Michael Mayer and Green Day began a collaboration to bring AMERICAN IDIOT to the stage. Mayer assembled an extraordinary team to join them: two-time Tony Award-winning composer and orchestrator of NEXT TO NORMAL Tom Kitt, Olivier Award-winning choreographer of the National Theater of Scotland's acclaimed BLACK WATCH Steven Hoggett, and Tony Award-winning actor and star of SPRING AWAKENING John Gallagher Jr. Over the next 9 months, the project was developed in a series of workshops culminating in an invitation from California's Berkeley Repertory Theater to present the world premiere, just minutes from the famed Gilman Street concert venue where Green Day first came to prominence.
In September of 2009, with a 19 member cast led by Mr. Gallagher and an onstage band of 8, the first stage incarnation of AMERICAN IDIOT opened at Berkeley Rep. The sold out engagement was extended twice, breaking all box office records, and was enthusiastically praised by the critics. The New York Times proclaimed it "THAT RARE CREATURE, A TRUE ROCK OPERA", with "LUSHLY MELODIC MUSIC, POLISHED AND PRECISE direction", a "SPECTACULAR SET", and "a vision of wasted youth that HOLDS US IN ITS GRIP". The San Francisco Chronicle called it "WILDLY ENTERTAINING", the Mercury News called it "EXPLOSIVE, AN ADRENALINE RUSH of a piece that SLAPS THE TRADITIONAL BROADWAY MUSICAL UPSIDE THE HEAD", the Herald Examiner proclaimed it a "MUST-SEE PRODUCTION", and the LA Times called it "DAZZLING", a "VISUALLY MESMERISING FANTASIA".
AMERICAN IDIOT went on to play the St. James Theatre on Broadway from March 24, 2010 – April 24, 2011 where it once again received raves from the critics. The production was nominated for three 2010 Tony Awards including Best Musical and won two, Best Scenic Design of a Musical for Christine Jones and Best Lighting Design of a Musical for Kevin Adams. In addition, the show received a Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album in February 2011. In the same month, it was announced that AMERICAN IDIOT would launch its first national tour in December of 2011 in Toronto, Ontario.