No brainer - Page 4

FALL ARTS PREVIEW: Green Day's American Idiot is made over for the Berkeley Rep stage

"When the chips are down, it's always easier to just implode on yourself rather than explode outward in a positive fashion that might be helpful for others."

Countering that is the positive process, littered with emphatic yesses, according to Mayer, of putting together American Idiot. In contrast with the difficult but rewarding eight-year gestation of Spring Awakening, Mayer — who has worked on such disparate productions as Thoroughly Modern Millie and the national tour of Angels in America — sees this musical's trajectory as absolutely charmed. The spell has been in place from the day he proposed his idea to Green Day's management in 2007, to the moment he was allowed six months to put together a libretto (a process that flew by in six weeks because Mayer says he was so "charged" by meeting Armstrong), to the instant last year that he and coproducer Tom Hulce decided to stage the musical at Berkeley Rep, a company he'd been wanting to work with for years, with his friend, artistic director Tony Taccone.

It's all coming strangely, beautifully, together — like a punk-rocker besotted with pop hooks and a theater-infatuated one-time Julliard instructor. "It makes me very, very nervous," Mayer confesses, chuckling. "Oh, it's terrifying! There's something wrong with it — it's too joyous. It's been too easy in terms of everything falling into place."


Sept. 4-Oct. 11

Tues., Thurs.–Fri., 8 p.m.; Wed., 7 p.m.;

Sat., 2 and 8 p.m.; Sun., 2 and 7 p.m.

(no matinees Sept. 5–6 and 12–13); $16–$86

Berkeley Repertory

Roda Theatre

2015 Addison, Berk.

(510) 647-2949

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