GREEN DAY’S AMERICAN IDIOT: Resources for the press

Music by Green Day; lyrics by Billie Joe Armstrong; book by Billie Joe Armstrong and Michael Mayer
from the novella Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
Directed by Jeffrey Bracco
July 14-Aug. 21, 2016.
Thurs.-Sat. at 8 p.m. Sun. at 2 p.m. (No matinee July 17.) Three 8 p.m. Wed. shows: Aug. 3, 10, 17.
Download high-res publicity photos. Scroll to the bottom of the page for info on past shows.
[image: "Green Day's American Idiot" cast members]

Three friends stuck in suburbia in “Green Day’s American Idiot”: Will (Tarif Pappu), Johnny (Joey Pisacane) and Tunny (Andrew Erwin). Photo by Susan Mah Photography.

SAN JOSE, CA (June 22, 2016) – This summer, City Lights’ intimate theater will be bursting with the powerful music and perpetually youthful rage of Green Day’s American Idiot. Based on the hit album, this punk-rock musical promises to be even more electric than usual—up close in a 100-seat theater.

The Tony-winning show features a live band, with some of the actors on guitar as well. The music will be familiar to anyone who’s heard Green Day’s Grammy Award-winning, multi-platinum album. Songs include Boulevard of Broken Dreams, 21 Guns, Wake Me Up When September Ends and the title track.

Directed by Jeffrey Bracco, Green Day’s American Idiot runs July 14-Aug. 21 at City Lights. The theater is at 529 S. Second St. in downtown San Jose’s SoFA arts district. For details and tickets, go to or call 408-295-4200.

The story centers on three lifelong friends: a trio of young guys trapped in suburbia. When they’re forced to choose between their unbridled dreams and the safety of home, each embarks on his own quest for true meaning in a media-saturated, post-9/11 world.

Green Day’s American Idiot was developed and premiered at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. It then made its debut on Broadway in 2010, earning a Tony Award nomination for Best Musical and winning for Best Scenic Design and Best Lighting Design of a Musical. It earned a Critics’ Pick from the New York Times, who called the show “thrillingly raucous and gorgeously wrought.” For their part, the members of Green Day, a punk-rock band hailing from the East Bay and fronted by vocalist/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, have scored tons of hit albums and top-selling songs.

City Lights’ summer musicals are consistent hits, offering a rare look at larger-than-life shows up close. Last year’s production of West Side Story set a box-office record and was extended an extra week.

Jeffrey Bracco (Director), who has recently directed M. Butterfly and Monty Python’s SPAMALOT at City Lights, is also an actor, playwright and educator with a professional theater career of more than 20 years in the U.S. and France. He has written or co-written five plays that have been professionally produced, including ShakesPod, which ran for three seasons in Paris with a yearly national tour from 2007 to 2009 and was also seen at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. He teaches directing, acting and theater history at Santa Clara University.

Cast: Also featuring a large ensemble, the cast includes the real-life songwriting duo of Joey Pisacane and Tarif Pappu as friends Johnny and Will, and Andrew Erwin as the third friend, Tunny. Sean Okuniewicz plays Johnny’s dangerous alter ego, St. Jimmy. The cast also includes Melissa Baxter as Will’s girlfriend Heather, Danielle Mendoza as Johnny’s girlfriend Whatsername, and Taylor Sanders as the mysterious Extraordinary Girl.

Joey Pisacane and Tarif Pappu are also returning to the City Lights stage on Sunday, Aug. 14, for their second Lights & Music Concert Series performance this year. The concert is at 7 p.m.; more information is at

Designers: Ron Gasparinetti (Scenic), Anna Chase (Costumes), Nick Kumamoto (Lighting and Projections), George Psarras (Sound Design), Miranda Whipple (Props).

Sponsors and Supporters: These include The Shubert Foundation, Silicon Valley Creates, Applied Materials Foundation, the City of San Jose Office of Cultural Affairs, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and many other individuals, corporations, and foundations.

City Lights’ 2016-17 season—the company’s 34th—begins in September with Jon Robin Baitz’s dysfunctional-family tale Other Desert Cities, followed by the touching comedy Calendar Girls by Tim Firth and the darkly comic thriller Ideation by Aaron Loeb. Kit Wilder’s world-premiere adaptation Frankenstein opens next spring, with Gina Gionfriddo’s witty Rapture, Blister, Burn following. The Goth-rock musical Lizzie rounds out the season in the summer of 2017.

WHAT: Based on the hit album, the punk-rock musical Green Day’s American Idiot tells the story of three lifelong friends, forced to choose between their unbridled dreams and the safety of suburbia, on a quest for meaning in post-9/11 America.

July 14-Aug. 21, 2016
Pay What You Can Night: Thursday, July 14, 8 p.m.
$19 Preview Night: Friday, July 15, 8 p.m.
Opening Night: Saturday, July 16, 8 p.m. (This performance is already sold out.)
Showtimes: Thursday-Saturday, 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. No performance on July 17.

City Lights Theater Company, 529 S. Second St., San Jose, CA 95112

Regular tickets are $19-$39, with discounts for seniors, students/educators, and groups (10+). (There is a $2 surcharge for phone and in-person purchases.) Tickets for closing weekend are increased by $2.

For tickets or more information, go to or call 408-295-4200. The theater is wheelchair-accessible.

For press passes or more information, contact City Lights marketing director Rebecca Wallace at or 408-295-4200. High-res photos can be downloaded at

Press resources for past City Lights shows