Behind the scenes of the surprise hit musical based on Green Day’s American Idiot album, in Doug Hamilton’s treat for fans and theatre buffs alike.
American Idiot, the blockbusting 2004 album by Green Day, took the form of a punk-rock opera inspired by The Who, and its global success was significant enough to spawn a spin-off musical, directed by Michael Mayer, which premiered on Broadway in 2010. Documentarist Doug Hamilton was present from inception through rehearsals to the premiere, and gives us an access-all-areas VIP pass to all the backstage wranglings before it was ready for public consumption. Imagine a let’s-put-on-a-show musical – 42nd Street, say – in docu-form, only with brutal guitar riffs and somewhat angrier, state-of-the-nation lyrics, and you’ll have some idea what to expect. With frontman Billie Joe Armstrong a hands-on presence – he co-wrote the book and periodically took the role of St Jimmy during the run – it’s a vital document for the band’s fans, as well as a thoroughly engaging peek into the break-a-leg mechanics of musical theatre production.
Doug Hamilton is a veteran television journalist for CBS News’ 60 Minutes and with PBS documentaries such as Nova, Frontline and American Masters. Awards include three Emmys, two George Foster Peabody Awards, AAAS Science Journalism Award, Writer’s Guild Award, Cine Golden Eagle and an Investigative Journalism Award from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hamilton has taught at the Graduate School of Journalism, University of California, Berkeley and is the official photographer for the Atlantic Theater Company in New York City.
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