There’s a new show in town: AIBway – The Twitter Drama but you have to be on Twitter to follow this musical. Okay, okay, so it’s really not a new musical, but two of my friends on twitter, Tyler and Linda brought up how all of the surrounding drama about American Idiot on Twitter could be great material for a new show opening up at the NYMF in 2011. Don’t you think? It’s definitely filled with some great drama! If you missed the over-the-weekend drama, then you missed Aspen Vincent (an actress in American Idiot) chewing out John Gallagher Jr. and asking him to “apologize to people that were hoping to see you. But don’t apologize for the quality of the show while you’re gone. Uncool.” He did apologize and said, “American Idiot has the most talented group of swings/understudies I have ever seen in my life and they never ever fail to deliver.” He continued, “And I would never suggest that the quality of our show would suffer merely because of my absence. It is worlds bigger than any one person. And you will not once hear me talk ill or slanderously about any of my brilliant castmates.” Wow. Drama.
Then there was yesterday, when I posted “Now I’m hearing that @AmericanIdiotNY might be closing this Sunday and the official word will go out tomorrow. This SUCKS!” A few minutes later, I was updated further and wrote, “New update: Producers are discussing right now as when AI is closing – still up for debate, though it looks like sometime in August?” Then the news spread like wild fire. I had no idea that it would be that fast, nor at the quantity that it did. I spent most of the day, talking to people about it on Twitter and reading about it on the message boards.
Some people were pissed, others agreed, but I did get some interesting reactions. Here’s a few that were most interesting.
People were surprised and upset because they had plans to see it at a later date. I’m one of those people. Last week, I posted that during my October Broadway Vacation I was going to see American Idiot. People from around the world tweeted me and told me how disappointed they were. Caitlin, one of my followers, wrote and said, “That’s what my trip in October is/was for. Which is why this is not okay.” Several others mentioned the same thing.
Jonathan Mandell (@NewYorkTheater) wrote, “Here’s my policy: I won’t spread rumors (even reliable rumors) of a Broadway show’s imminent announcement that it’s closing. It’s not fair.” A lot of people were mad at me that I started a rumor about American Idiot. I get it. But, this particular source has never gotten it wrong. (I had posted about Alice Ripley’s departure in Next to Normal to go on with the tour months before it was announced.) I still think the rumor was substantiated even if they don’t post a closing notice this week. I know the producers were in talks about it yesterday, regardless of the outcome.
After a few hours, @AmericanIdiotNY (the official American Idiot twitter) confirmed that the show wasn’t closing and that they are rocking the St. James every night! Kevin Daly wrote and said, “I vividly remember Ragtime’s campaign against closing rumors… only to announce that date as their closing.” He then continued, “Had folks telling me they would have seen it (Ragtime) but it had closed – while it was still running!!” While, I’m thinking that those people were a bit uneducated, I could see the confusion, especially if they don’t read Playbill or keep up with their Broadway news.
Howard Sherman, the executive director of American Theatre Wing, tweeted me and said, “I’m not impugning you or your sources, but worry that people’s desire for scoops may create self-fulfilling prophecies.” Yes, I know, it was a huge scoop, but again, it came from my extremely reliable source. And let’s get it on the record, that I don’t want American Idiot to close. Frankly, I just wanted to tell some of my followers to go see the show this week, just in case it does post a closing notice. In a matter of minutes the story took a life of it’s own. I never would have guessed that it would have done so in that way. The internet baffles me that way – you never know what’s going to happen. But lesson learned.
At the show last night:
Apparently, the show was packed last night. Aspen Vincent tweeted about how she couldn’t find a seat to watch the show. She mentioned this morning that she, “Still can’t believe how packed the audience was last night! Seemed to be a lot of general “hubbub” all over the place though…a bit strange.” From what I heard, it was a great show – John Gallagher Jr. was back in, as well as Tony Vincent. Stark Sands was out though his understudy, Van Hughes was great as well.
I’ll keep this updated, as much as possible, but this is what I heard and tweeted this morning, “No news is good news!!! Haven’t heard anything further except the producers were pumped about the attendance to last night’s show!” I sincerely hope that this show stays open. I want to see it when I come to New York City this October. I saw it four times while it was at Berkeley Rep and I loved every minute of it. American Idiot really was the reason I started this blog in the first place. It inspired me to write about my experience so I would never forget it. Since I heard it was opening at the St. James, I was always a bit weary that the house was a bit big for the production. I personally thought they should have taken over the Nederlander Theatre which would have been a great space for it, but logistically I don’t think they could have. I hope that the producers see the passion behind the “Idiots” and keep the show open. It needs to; there’s a real message there (even if the Tony voters didn’t understand it) and frankly, musical theatre needs the jump-start that American Idiot so shamelessly gives it.
Past Blog Posts on American Idiot: