Bloom one of 62 stops for Tony-winning musical
BLOOMSBURG - The national tour of "American Idiot," a musical based on Green Day's platinum-selling concept album, will make a stop next month at Bloomsburg University.
"American Idiot" spent one year on Broadway and was awarded a pair of Tony Awards for design and lighting while also being nominated for "Best Musical."
It's now on its third international tour, with dates currently scheduled for 62 cities in the U.S. and Canada.
The musical is coming to Bloomsburg University March 7 as part of its Celebrity Artist Series in conjunction with the university's 175th anniversary.
Released in 2004, Green Day's intent when recording "American Idiot" was to create a punk rock opera. It's the band's take on post-9/11 America and is politically charged as far as mainstream music goes.
The album has sold more than 15 million copies worldwide.
The musical sticks to the album's themes - it utilizes all of its songs plus additional work by Green Day - and centers on three friends looking for purpose in the suburbs. They each take drastically different paths that play out on stage: fatherhood, military service and drug use.
Some 'va,va voom'
The music is loud and the set design matches, with dozens of televisions flickering images related to the story.
Olivia Puckett portrays "Whatsername," a love interest of "Johnny's."
"She's like a beacon for all girls who are in their 20s who are living their lives in the city," Puckett said in an interview last week ahead of a performance in Boston. "I love that she doesn't have a name because then people can connect with her even more. The fact that she doesn't have a name is good because you can't label her."
Puckett is a recent graduate of Wagner College, Staten Island. She's been thrown into "the city" herself and felt a connection to the "multi-faceted" character. It took some adjustment, though, to portray a sex symbol.
"I'm a very petite woman, so I have to really give some 'va, va, voom' to create some sex appeal," she said. "It was a little hard for me, I'm kind of shy in that way."
"Whatsername" is introduced to "Johnny" during the rendition of "Boulevard of Broken Dreams." She's in her party phase in "Last of the American Girls," and the two fall in love and begin to experiment with heroin during "Last Night on Earth." By "21 Guns" the characters are in deep, and Puckett's works to pull "Johnny" from his addiction. During "Letterbomb," she says goodbye and good riddance.
"With all us girls on stage, it's so bad ass," Puckett says of "Letterbomb."
A new fan base
Herself a fan of Green Day, Puckett said not everyone who comes to the show may be familiar with the band or its music.
"We do have a lot of older audience members who probably don't even know who Green Day is. They leave and they're like, 'Wow, that was so much fun and so much energy.' It's awesome to see people who don't know who Green Day is kind of take something from the show," she said.