From left to right, Louis Griffin, Ben Biggers, John Battagliese and Chris Collins-Pisano in CCM's production of AMERICAN IDIOT. Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM Pushes Boundaries With Green Day’s Punk Rock Musical ‘American Idiot,’ March 3 – 13, 2016

From left to right, Louis Griffin, Ben Biggers, John Battagliese and Chris Collins-Pisano in CCM's production of AMERICAN IDIOT. Photo by Mark Lyons.

From left to right, Louis Griffin, Ben Biggers, John Battagliese and Chris Collins-Pisano in CCM’s production of AMERICAN IDIOT. Photo by Mark Lyons.

CCM proudly presents the first local production of Green Day‘s iconic musical American Idiot from March 3 – 13 in Patricia Corbett Theater. The through-sung rock opera is directed by Patricia A. Corbett Distinguished Chair of Musical Theatre Aubrey Berg with musical direction by Adjunct Instructor of Musical Theatre Steve Goers.

Although many think of Broadway musicals as saccharin sweet, there have been shows throughout the decades that have burst onto the scene, changing theatre forever and defining a generation.

“In 1944, Leonard Bernstein’s ‘On The Town’ brought fresh faces and a jazz-inflected score to Broadway. My generation grooved to the sound of ‘Hair.’ In the 90s there was ‘Rent’ by Jonathan Larson, and for the current generation, it is ‘American Idiot’,” says Berg.

A high octane adaptation of Green Day’s 2004 Grammy-winning concept album of the same name, American Idiot features a raucous and exhilarating punk rock score yet offers a simple, contemporary fable in the style of the Brothers Grimm. Three disaffected young men – Johnny, Will and Tunny – plan to flee a stifling suburban lifestyle and parental restrictions. Along the way they deal with drugs, lost love, war, inner turmoil and living in an America that is forever changed and roiled by dark events, including the terrorist attacks of September 11 and the Iraq War.

Making sure CCM’s production reflects the style and temperament of the current generation was important to Berg. “American Idiot is a musical by the young, for the young,” he says. To keep the presentation authentic, Berg surrounded himself with a creative team of students. His associate director and choreographer, Tom Meglio and Samantha Pollino respectively, are both graduating seniors and are the perfect candidates to help shape this production.

American Idiot was one of our generation’s very first artistic expressions of events that are ever present in our consciousness because, for the very first time, our generation can say: we lived them,” Meglio and Pollino suggest.

CCM’s production is set three years before the release of the album in the aftermath of the events of 9/11. Meglio and Pollino explain, “We wanted to create an atmosphere of immediacy, to highlight the themes of the show as a response to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and explore the period of upheaval that immediately followed.”

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Great theatre can delight and entertain, but it can also challenge audiences to confront their own closely held views and perceptions. American Idiot deals with potentially incendiary subjects. The show is loud, abrasive and confrontational. The language is raw and constant. There is simulated sex and simulated drug use. The musical presents an uncompromising view of a dystopian America, but it is also a foray into the psyche of a young generation struggling to make sense of its place in the world at a particular moment in time.

“In addition to ‘rocking out,’ we ask the audience to take a moment to connect with, reflect on and embrace this piece as a raw fragment of history presented with the utmost respect and many unanswered questions,” Meglio and Pollino conclude.

CCM’s production of American Idiot is not recommended for children or those easily offended.

Official logo for Green Day's 'American Idiot.'
Music by Green Day
Lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong
Book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer

The Company

  • Ben Biggers as Johnny
  • John Battagliese as St. Jimmy
  • Clara Cox as Whatsername
  • Chris Collins-Pisano as Will
  • Shauna Topian as Heather
  • Louis Griffin as Tunny
  • Cameron Anika Hill as Extraordinary Girl
  • with Kyra Christopher, EJ Dohring, Joel Flynn, Ciara Alyse Harris, Marissa Hecker, Tyler Jent, Phillip Johnson, Chris Kelley, Stavros Koumbaros, Jackson Matteck, Emily Ashton Meredith, Hamilton Moore, Anya Olsen, Alex Stone, Donelvan Thigpen, Madelaine Vandenberg and Keaton Whittaker.

The Creative Team

  • Aubrey Berg, director
  • Stephen Goers, musical director
  • Samantha Pollino, choreographer
  • Thomas C. Umfrid, scenic designer
  • CJ Mellides, lighting designer
  • Kevin Semancik, sound designer
  • Jillian Coratti, costume designer
  • Jillian Floyd, wig & make-up designer
  • Tom Meglio, assistant director
  • k. Jenny Jones, fight choreographer
  • Jenny Rissover, stage manager
  • Tom Kitt, musical arrangements and orchestrations

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 3
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 4
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 5
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 6
  • 8 p.m. Thursday, March 10
  • 8 p.m. Friday, March 11
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, March 12
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, March 13

Location
Patricia Corbett Theater, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to American Idiot are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 for UC students with a valid ID.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/american-idiot.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
____

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Community Partner: ArtsWave

American Idiot is presented through special arrangement with Music Theatre International (MTI). All authorized performance materials are also supplied by MTI. 421 West 54th Street, New York, NY 10019 | Phone: 212-541-4684 | Fax: 212-397-4684 | www.MTIShows.com

CCM News
Samantha Pollino and Ben Biggers in 'Carousel.' Special thanks to Carol Ann's Carousel, A Gift of The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. Photography by Mark Lyons.

CCM Presents Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Timeless ‘CAROUSEL’ Oct. 29 – Nov. 1

CCM’s acclaimed Mainstage Series continues this fall with a moving production of the classic Rodgers and Hammerstein musical Carousel. Directed and choreographed by Diane Lala with musical direction by Roger GrodskyCarousel runs Oct. 29 through Nov. 1 in CCM’s Corbett Auditorium. Tickets for all performances are on sale now.

Samantha Pollino and Ben Biggers in 'Carousel.' Special thanks to Carol Ann's Carousel, A Gift of The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation. Photography by Mark Lyons.Based on the 1909 play LiliomCarousel tells a story of tragedy, forgiveness and timeless love through the turbulent relationship of Julie Jordan, a quiet, naïve millworker, and Billy Bigelow, a swaggering, carefree carnival barker.

CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Diane Lala directs and choreographs the show, which was hailed as the “best musical of the 20th century” by Time Magazine. Fittingly, Lala’s approach to the show is to let the material speak for itself. “Carousel is such a classic piece of musical theatre,” she explains. “My goal is to present the show the way the writers intended it.”

Lala is no stranger to the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein, having previously helmed CCM’s 2011 production of Oklahoma!. Lala notes that although the two musicals were written back to back, they are quite different. “A lot of the uplifting spirit in Oklahoma! comes from the feeling of community around making Oklahoma a state. In Carousel we deal with the much darker issue of a marriage between two people who are completely different but who have this captivating and enduring love for each other.”

Richard Rodgers portrays the love story gloriously in his sweeping score, which he maintained was his personal favorite of all the shows he wrote.

CCM Professor of Musical Theatre Roger Grodsky and second-year graduate student Danny White will co-conduct the 39-piece orchestra for this production. The duo will honor Rodgers by utilizing a restored version of the original 1945 orchestrations. “The restoration process began in 2003 and there are literally hundreds of parts that have been reinstated or corrected,” says Grodsky. “People may be surprised to hear that that the correct lyric for ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’ is: ‘When you walk through a storm, KEEP YOUR CHIN up high’ not ‘hold your head’!”

Carousel‘s timeless score also includes such standards as “If I Loved You” and Billy’s powerful seven-minute solo “Soliloquy.”

In addition to the full orchestra, the technical elements of the show will be quite grand. However, Lala notes that the juxtaposition of these elements with the intimacy of the story is what makes this production special. “In the beginning of the show, we transform from a bare stage to a full amusement park including a big carousel, so the set and musical numbers are really big and elaborate but then the scenes are so dramatic and simple. There’s a wonderful contrast all within the same show.”

With its timeless story, glorious score, and stunning visuals, CCM’s production of Carousel is sure to delight audiences and create a memorable evening of theater.

Special thanks to Carol Ann’s Carousel, A Gift of The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.

Performance Times

  • 8 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 29
  • 8 p.m. Friday, Oct. 30
  • 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31
  • 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 1

Location
Corbett Auditorium, CCM Village
University of Cincinnati

Purchasing Tickets
Tickets to Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel are $31-35 for adults, $20-24 for non-UC students and $18-22 UC students with a valid ID.

Tickets can be purchased in person at the CCM Box Office, over the telephone at 513-556-4183 or online at ccm.uc.edu/boxoffice/mainstage/carousel.

Parking and Directions
Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the base of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit uc.edu/parking for more information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit uc.edu/visitors. Additional parking is available off-campus at the new U Square complex on Calhoun Street and other neighboring lots.

For directions to CCM Village, visit ccm.uc.edu/about/directions.
____

CCM Season Presenting Sponsor and Musical Theatre Program Sponsor: The Otto M. Budig Family Foundation

Mainstage Season Production Sponsor: Macy’s

Carousel Production Sponsor: The Carol Ann and Ralph V. Haile, Jr./U.S. Bank Foundation.

Community Partner: ArtsWave

CCM News