The Britney Spears episode of “Glee” wasn’t the only high-profile musical crossover event of Tuesday night. For a select few hundred people gathered at the St. James Theatre in New York, there was a historic event happening on stage, as Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong performed his first of a week’s worth of shows as a cast member in “American Idiot,” the musical based on Green Day’s music that Armstrong co-wrote. Filling in for cast member Tony Vincent, Armstrong assumed the role of St. Jimmy, the sex-and-drugs-obsessed antagonist/alter-ego of Johnny, the show’s focus.
It was Armstrong’s acting debut, but he was obviously comfortable with the music. Considering he has inhabiting many of the songs in the show for years already (most of them come from Green Day’s last two albums, 2004’s American Idiot and 2009’s 21st Century Breakdown), Armstrong had no trouble delivering the kind of sneering attitude fans have come to expect from one of rock’s feistiest frontmen.
When the show was over, Armstrong was treated to his first Broadway curtain call, which included an acoustic jam of the band’s classic tune “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life).” MTV News was there to capture it on tape.
On any normal night, the energy in the St. James Theatre during a performance of “American Idiot” is pretty high, simply because of the nature of the music and the on-stage spectacle. But people were especially amped last night. “Every time Billie Joe came on [stage], everybody started screaming and chanting,” declared one fan after the show.
“This is one of the most historic things you could probably ever see,” added another fan. The history will continue through Sunday night (October 3), when Billie Joe will take his last curtain call (at least for the time being).
What do you think of the idea of Billie Joe Armstrong starring in his own musical? Let us know in the comments!