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Richmond’s version of ‘American Idiot’ is genius the way it came together

Posted at 12:08 AM, Aug 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-13 11:14:32-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- There's no doubt Richmond's local production of the punk rock opera musical/sweatfest "American Idiot" has been a smash hit.

Almost all of the extended, 20-night run at the Firehouse Theater in midtown has been sold out. Some patrons have come to see our version of Green Days' classic coming-of-age play more than once.

One young woman at Thursday's sold-out show was seeing it for the third time.

"Everyone is really, really talented," she said. "And it's great!"

full house

Everyone involved has been absolutely loving it, they told me.

There's a palpable sense of collaborative magic in how they came together to grow the play and themselves to fit each other.

"It is the most beautiful thing I think I've ever seen," said musical director Matt Koon. "The beauty is watching these people come together for a common goal, to play and create art unselfishly."

"American Idiot"

"American Idiot"

The high-energy, very physical play stands apart because the 10 actors also play all the instruments. Some had to learn, and some of the songs were shifted to match the talents and range of the performers.

"American Idiot" has been a sensation on Broadway and across the land, in part because the material has largely been performed by locals in the cities where it has played.

"American Idiot"

"American Idiot"

I couldn't film RVA's play because of franchise rights, but I did get to roll on some of the pre-show rehearsal and dressing room conversations.

Check out the video, and there might be a few seats available for the final show Saturday night.