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Can You Hear the Sound of Hysteria? American Idiot Documentary to Be Released at SXSW

A film documenting Grammy Award winner Billie Joe Armstrong's road to Broadway will debut in March.

Michael Esper, Stark Sands, and John Gallagher Jr. in American Idiot
© Paul Kolnik
Calling out to Idiot America: a new documentary about Green Day's journey to Broadway will debut this March at Austin's SXSW festival. The film, entitled Broadway Idiot, features footage of the rock opera's rehearsal process, dating back to American Idiot's 2009 debut at the Berkeley Rep.

Billie Joe Armstrong, Green Day's front man, is the lyricist, as well as co-composer and co-book writer of the stage version of American Idiot. Armstrong also made his Broadway debut stepping into the show as St. Jimmy in September 2010 for three limited engagements.

The musical is comprised of songs from the Grammy Award winning album American Idiot, along with additional Green Day tracks that weave together the coming-of-age story of a young man, Johnny, and his two best friends, who are dying to break out of their suburban town. American Idiot began previews on Broadway in March of 2010, and ran for over a year, closing in April 2011. The original cast starred Tony Award winner John Gallagher Jr. (Spring Awakening), Michael Esper (The Lyons) and Tony Award nominee Stark Sands (Journey's End).

In an email to TheaterMania, Broadway Idiot director, Doug Hamilton, who is also a veteran TV journalist and photographer for the Atlantic Theater Company, gave us some hints about what to expect from the documentary, "You get to see some of the numbers fully realized - shot with up to six cameras - so the magic of those scenes really translates onto film," he said. Hamilton went on to explain that the film gives a rare insight into the development of the show and the rehearsal process and largely features Billie Joe Armstrong, American Idiot 's star John Gallagher Jr., and director Michael Mayer.

But what about the American Idiot fans who can't make it to Austin for the premiere? Hamilton says he's hoping to schedule additional screenings (and possibly a DVD release) once the film lands a distributor.

American Idiot was nominated for the 2010 Tony for Best Musical, and won two Tony Awards for its design. The show's cast recording won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show album and is currently rocking its second national tour.

For more information about Broadway Idiot, click here.

For the SXSW schedule page, click here.