The Broadway cast of Green Day tuner “American Idiot” will get a high-profile introduction on the Grammy kudocast this weekend. The Rialto stars of the tuner, including John Gallagher Jr. and Stark Sands, will perform the song “21 Guns” with Green Day during the broadcast.
With national media rarely taking a major interest in Main Stem fare, the Grammy perf reps a publicity coup for “Idiot.” Last year ratings for the Grammy telecast surged to 19 million viewers, many of whom are likely to be the contempo rock fans to whom “Idiot” aims to appeal.
Based on the 2004 Green Day album of the same name, punk-opera “Idiot” also incorporates tunes from the band’s 2009 release, “21st Century Breakdown,” including “21 Guns.” The tune itself is up for two Grammys (rock song and rock perf by a duo or group), while all of “Breakdown” is nommed for rock album.
Late last year a recording of “Guns” featuring Green Day and the cast of the Berkeley Rep tryout of “Idiot” was released on iTunes.
Many of the thesps from the California run, which opened to largely upbeat reviews in September, reprise their roles in “Idiot,” including Gallagher Jr. (“Spring Awakening”), Rebecca Naomi Jones and Tony Vincent. New to the ensemble is Sands (“Journey’s End”).
Storyline follows an angry suburban everyteen (Gallagher, Jr.) and his relationship with a drug-dealing alter ego (Vincent) and an anarchist girlfriend (Jones).
Music is credited to the band with book co-penned by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer, who also directs.
Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman produce. Duo shepherded Tony-winner “Spring Awakening,” which co-starred Gallagher Jr. and was helmed by Mayer.
“It’s going to be an unusual way to introduce the show,” said Pittelman of the Grammycast perf.
“Idiot” begins previews at Broadway’s St. James Theater March 24 ahead of an April 20 opening.