Armstrong to return for final weeks
Broadway tuner “American Idiot” will shutter in April, finishing with a three-week thesping stint for Green Day frontman and box-office booster Billie Joe Armstrong.Musical, based on the Green Day concept album of the same name, earned some prominent critical support but only posted consistently robust sales in the weeks when Armstrong was appearing in the show. Rocker, who played a week in the fall ahead of a multi-perf stint in January and February, helped the show attract $1.3 million in B.O. for the week ending Feb. 27. The following frame, in the wake of Armstrong’s exit, saw sales plummet to just below $400,000. Helmed by Michael Mayer (“Spring Awakening”), who co-wrote the book with Armstrong, “Idiot” centers on a trio of young men looking to find their place in a post-9/11 world. Armstrong played the role of St. Jimmy, the self-destructive alter-ego of one of the protags. Melissa Etheridge also spent a week in the part originally played by Tony Vincent. A recent cast changeover that coincided with the end of Armstrong’s most recent engagement included the addition of “American Idol” alum Justin Guarini and Davey Havok, of alternative rock band AFI, playing St. Jimmy. Havok will end his temporary stint soon, to be replaced by a performer yet to be announced. Armstrong returns to the role April 5. It’s not yet certain whether “Idiot” will manage to recoup its capitalization costs. So far the production has cumed close to $35 million since it began previews March 24. Produced by the “Spring Awakening” duo of Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman, “Idiot” had its 2009 world preem at Berkeley Rep. Show was nommed for three Tonys and came away with two, one for set design and one for lighting. The Broadway incarnation will shutter April 24.
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