Show History



American Idiot, with a book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer, lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong, and music by the band Green Day, is based on the concept album of the same name by Green Day. The score includes all the songs from the 2004 album, though it also pulls from other material: the album 21st Century Breakdown, B-sides to the initial album, and a completely new song titled "When It's Time." While recording American Idiot, the band members each recorded 30-second songs eventually pieced together into suite songs such as "Homecoming" and "Jesus of Suburbia." They then created a concept album; their basis stemmed from many different sources like previous concept records from The Who,The Rocky Horror Picture Show and the original concept-album-musical Jesus Christ Superstar. When director Michael Mayer heard the album, he expressed an interest in collaborating with the band to adapt it for the stage.


American Idiot premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre on September 15, 2009, and extended twice up to November 15. The musical moved east to the St. James Theatre on Broadway. With a creative team that included much of the same team from the Broadway production of Spring Awakening, it ran until April 24, 2011.

The first national touring production of the musical launched in Toronto on December 28, 2011. Numerous tours have launched since then, including a non-union tour in late summer 2012, a UK and Ireland tour from October to December 2012, and yet another United States tour in early 2014. The show also premiered in Asia with a Tokyo/Seoul tour in 2013.

Cultural Influence

  • The world premiere tryout production of American Idiot became the top-grossing show in the Berkeley Repertory Theatre's history.
  • Green Day frontman and bookwriter/lyricist Billie Joe Armstrong stepped into the role of St. Jimmy several times over the run of the musical on Broadway. This event marks one of the extremely rare times that a writer has stepped in to play a character in his own play.
  • Broadway Idiot, a documentary showing Armstrong's journey to the Broadway stage, premiered at the South by Southwest Film Festival on March 15, 2013. It was later released in theaters and Video on Demand on October 11, 2013.