The last time Armstrong did a stint in “Idiot” — in a last-minute weeklong gig during the Rialto’s annual September doldrums — weekly sales spiked 200% to nearly $1.1 million.
The performer’s return to the show is timed to coincide with the annual box office downturn that hits Broadway every year after the holidays. Stint looks to help keep receipts strong during weeks when much of the Main Stem will likely be struggling to fill seats.
Armstrong is credited as lyricist and co-book writer of the tuner, which is based on the Green Day album of the same name. He’ll reprise the role of St. Jimmy, the punky alter ego of the young protag played by John Gallagher Jr.
Armstrong will appear in 50 perfs staggered over a period of about two months. Sked puts him in the tuner Jan. 1-9, Jan. 18-30 and then Feb. 10-27. Tony Vincent, who originated the part of St. Jimmy, exits the musical Dec. 30.
The addition of the high-profile rock star to the “Idiot” cast reps a seemingly surefire way to sustain the musical during the chilly pre-spring weeks. Punk-opera, which generally hovers in the middle of the pack in terms of weekly B.O., hasn’t proven itself a top draw in tourist season: Over the big-money Thanksgiving frame, receipts upticked to around $600,000, but the show played to houses that averaged a capacity of just 53%.