Monday, September 3, 2012

1995, The Musical

BJ and I went to see American Idiot: The Musical last night, and it was alarmingly like my life in the early 1990s.  I am not comfortable with being old enough for my adolescence to be portrayed in four part harmony.  Seriously.  I could see boys I knew in late high school and early college so clearly in the characters, it was creepy.

From their Facebook page - I think I dated the guy in the striped shirt...
The music, by the band Green Day, was awesome.  I'd forgotten how much I love live music.  There was a lot of cursing, middle finger waving, head banging, and so on, which was kind of funny because the average age of the patrons (most of whom were probably season ticket holders and had no idea what they were seeing before they sat down and read the Playbill) was about 65, and I heard several people muttering about, "Why do they have to keep using that F word?"  Because there was a lot to be pissed off about in the 1990s, that's why.  Or so we thought.  We didn't know how good we had it, actually, but isn't that how it always is for teenagers?

The thing that irritated me most was that the female characters were exceptionally one-dimensional.  2/3 of them didn't even have names.  They only existed to serve the needs of or the personal growth of the main male characters (one was a nurse who "saved" one of the main characters, one was the other main character's pregnant girlfriend, a third was a non-pregnant girlfriend who dumps the primary main character when he gets too far into drugs), which is SO common and SO irritating.  I went on a rant about how it was anti-feminist and I think I scared a few of the people who were walking to their cars around us.

TVs set into the background (from nj.com)
That said, it was beautiful from a set-design perspective.  I really loved the way they used televisions.  It was very cool.  There were a few dozen TVs stuck into the back wall of the stage, and the images varied depending on what was going on in the songs or on the stage.  They also projected cityscape images across the background to evoke movement ("I walk a lonely road, the only one that I have ever known...") and make you feel like you were watching someone on a lonely city street.  Very cool.

I really enjoyed it.  I think BJ enjoyed it less than I did, but we enjoyed it more than the average person in the (exceptionally elderly and/or empty) audience.  BJ said that he hadn't been that close to the stage in Elliott Hall since a math exam in college.  It's too early in the semester for most students to be going to concerts, unless they're really huge headliners.  Or, perhaps, we're so old that most of the undergrads at Purdue don't even know who Green Day is or want to hear any of their music.  It's a short slide from here to sensible shoes and Depends undergarments, isn't it?  *shudder*

My favorite songs were "Wake Me Up When September Ends," and "Good Riddance," which was the encore.  The whole cast played acoustic guitars for "Good Riddance."  That was impressive.  Again, live music.  Nothing quite like it, whether it's pop/rock or symphonic classical stuff.  It feels different, you know?



So that was my Sunday night...  Saturday night I went to the 5th Annual SPOONS Party at Karen's.  What happens at SPOONS stays at SPOONS, though, so I am not at liberty to disclose the details.  Jack and I had a 3 hour nap on Sunday before the show, though, for recovery purposes.

Hope you're having fun on your holiday weekend, too!!


2 comments:

Bev said...

Oh Amy! I'm 63; someone who is 65 graduated high school in 1965. Have you read anything about that period, the late 60s? giggle! It sounds like a play Rich and I would enjoy immensely so I had to tease you about this post.

If the audience was that shocked, I think the age estimate has to be bumped up by seven to ten years.

Haven't had much of an internet connection for a week so am gradually catching up with the world online.

Amy Austin said...

I probably should have gone with the mode, which would have been more like 79, or the median which was around 73. ;)