Broadway Idiot: The World of Punk Rock Collides with Broadway Musicals



Broadway Idiot documents Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong from a punk rock concert at Madison Square Garden to the opening of American Idiot on Broadway.  While these two venues are only ten blocks away from one another, they are truly worlds apart.  Doug Hamilton, who directs the film, shows the backstage production of the Broadway play as well as inside the studio with Green Day.  This is part of what makes this film as unique as the artistic collaboration of punk rock and broadway.


It is typically on the verge of impossible to film within the rehearsals and creations of a Broadway musical due to actors unions as well as the possible impact it would have on the creative process.  These rehearsals are often a process of trial and error that is both good and bad to unfold the best performance possible.  Exposing that on camera not only lends the performer to criticism but also could cause question if the best performance was truly given.  However, when Michael Mayer suggested the staged musical of Green day’s American Idiot everyone involved knew it had the potential to be the process of something strange yet wonderful.  Broadway Idiot documents just that.

The cross culture of music and theater fans is also a key factor in the diversity of this documentary.  Not only did it cross the audiences interest but, as the documentary shows, Billie Joe Armstrong also discovers his cross from Punk Rock to Broadway.  This same culture cross is what lead to the premiere fo Broadway Idiot at South By Southwest, as this event draws great film and music tradition alike.


The documentary follows the chaos and butterflies of these two worlds coming together.  Within these blurring worlds, the documentary trails the life of Billie Joe Armstrong and how the process began with one of the world’s biggest rock stars and unfolded into his personal story.  Despite his punk rock attitude; Billie Joe became very involved and hands on as he opened his eyes to the world of Broadway and while lacking acting experience he found himself on camera preparing to perform in a Broadway musical.



Photo Credit:

Brook Bentley
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