Melissa Etheridge to channel Green Day in Broadway’s ‘American Idiot’


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Singer Melissa Etheridge and the punk band Green Day seem to exist in completely different music planes — the former is endearing, warm and heartfelt, while the latter is angry, brash and in-your-face. While they won’t be appearing on stage together, Etheridge will be performing songs by Green Day when she fills in for the role of St. Jimmy in the musical ‘American Idiot’ next month.

Producers said Tuesday that Etheridge will appear in the musical from Feb. 1 to 6 at the St. James Theatre in New York. Though the character has been played by men, director Michael Mayer said in a statement that he and Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong thought ‘it would be incredible to have a woman take on the role.’


Armstrong himself has filled in for the role St. Jimmy, both last fall and again this month. The rock musician will appear in the musical Jan. 18 to 30 and again Feb. 10 to 27.

‘American Idiot’ is a jukebox musical that uses songs from the Green Day albums ‘American Idiot’ and ‘21st Century Breakdown.’ Originally produced at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2009, the show opened on Broadway in 2010 and received a Tony nomination for best musical.

Etheridge appeared on Broadway on June 23 for a one-day engagement in the musical ‘Million Dollar Quartet,’ during which she performed with the cast during the show’s finale.


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— David Ng

Photo (top): Melissa Etheridge. Credit: Eric McCandless / CBS

Photo (bottom): A scene from ‘American Idiot,’ with John Gallagher, Jr., left, as Johnny and Tony Vincent as St. Jimmy, in the Berkeley production. Credit: Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times.