An Ordinary World

books, blabberings, and a life semi-common

The Idiocy of Desperation

I’m one of the few who believe that Billie Joe Armstrong shouldn’t be in American Idiot. Let’s just put that out there. It’s not a secret. I’m said it multiple times. He is an awesome musician but he was not made for a Broadway stage. Personally, I don’t find his portrayal of St. Jimmy compelling. I recently read, on another blog, that his version of St. Jimmy is better because it’s more human and people can relate more to him as opposed to the way Tony Vincent portrayed the character – as a dark enigma type of man. Right off the bat, I disagree with this, mainly because how does one need to find St. Jimmy as more human? It’s a drug dealer who, at some point, morphs into an alter ego of another character; he becomes an entity that is the reason for someone’s downfall.

This is all besides the point, really. When BJA was announced to join the Broadway cast for a week, I was interested but thought it was a ploy to make more money. It happens, unfortunately, but hey… Anything to keep a show I love open, right? I went to see him in it and was less than pleased. There was no acting involved. I felt like I was listening to his CD. His voice wasn’t made for the new arrangements done to his songs for the musical. And I was more than a little put out by the screaming that occurred from fans.

Then he was announced for 50 more shows. Within two months, he would be performing for roughly six weeks with two weeks off for whatever reason. For the first week, the St. Jimmy understudy went on. Awesome dude; give the guy a chance.

Suddenly, though, it was announced that for one week, Melissa Etheridge would be joining the cast of American Idiot. I, for one, am a bit interested in a woman playing that role. I think it would add an entirely new dimension to the character. However, this reeks of desperation in an attempt to keep the money coming in. Did the week of the the understudy cause such a sudden dip in ticket sales that a well-known name had to put in? And while the female aspect, as I just said, may be interesting, it will also be a little odd with lyrics like, “King of the forty thieves and I’m here to represent.”

Also a thought – St. Jimmy is a piece of the main character, Johnny. St. Jimmy is the dark side of Johnny that opposes the “light” and hopeful side that Whatsername brings to his life. Perhaps Johnny does have a dark, female side hidden inside his mind but it does strike me as strange to think of two women pulling at Johnny’s psyche.

Perhaps it’s really just me. Some people say I’m biased toward Tony Vincent but I also thought Josh Kobak did a spectacular job as St. Jimmy the 2nd time I saw him (I believe he was a bit off the first time). So I don’t think it’s a bias point of view in this case. It’s more that I enjoy the actors on Broadway to have the basic talents one needs to perform on a stage of such renown.

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6 responses to “The Idiocy of Desperation

  1. Sara 19 January 2011 at 2:35 pm

    “I’m one of the few who believe that Billie Joe Armstrong shouldn’t be in American Idiot.”
    – I am also one of these few.

    I’d love to see a female St. Jimmy. I’ve seen Pippin with both male and female leading players, and both are compelling in their own ways. I’d love to see a female do this role, especially because it’s been so masculine. But. Melissa Etheridge? Really? REALLY? It’s like they’re pulling from the bottom of the bucket here. She’s extraordinary in her own right. And her own right is not this show.

    Personally, I think the BJA stunts were one thing… but this stunt is purely pathetic. I want to go see Michael’s last, but I’m even considering never going back, ever. This announcement made them look like the weakest cast on Broadway, like there’s no way anyone would see the show unless someone famous was in it. Pathetic.

    I mean, Jesus, put tiny little Aspen on as Jimmy. Or bring in a new girl. OR SOMEONE NOT 40 YEARS OLD. Sorry, I refuse to believe that Johnny’s alter ego is middle aged.

    This has turned into a hot mess rant. My bad. Sorry Mary’s blog.

  2. Elen 19 January 2011 at 10:14 pm

    From the first time I got to see AI Tony Vincent stood out as St Jimmy, he was my reason for seeing the show 9 times. Did see BJA in one performance when he did the show the first time a number of months back. Was not impressed with him then, and will not be seeing him now. All this, is for the money. AI may not be around past May, it is my understanding Esper is leaving soon and Stark could be next.
    Though I will be sorry to see it go, I will miss it.

    • Mary 19 January 2011 at 10:28 pm

      While I understand the desire to keep the show running, this truly just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. The leads are basically leaving soon; I think the latest rumor is that Gallagher is leaving end if Jan? And well, Esper is doing the play on Broadway soon with Stephen Spinella.

      I would be surprised if they went past BJA’s last show.

      PS – I did see him recently (again) in order to see Aspen as Extraordinary Girl. He still didn’t do anything for me as St. Jimmy. Sigh. Shame.

      • Sara 20 January 2011 at 10:23 am

        “bad taste in my mouth.” Exactly.

        I’d rather a show I like go out on top with a bang than seeing them beg on their knees for sales.

  3. jilly 21 January 2011 at 10:35 pm

    I have absolutely nothing to comment on this post that’s worth reading. Mebbe I will come visit you while the show is still going on and we can go together. y/fy?

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