Sarah McLeod and Adalita Join Cast of AMERICAN IDIOT
The wait is over - the full cast of Green Day's explosive award-winning Broadway phenomenon American Idiot is here and getting set to take Australia by storm. The national tour of this high-octane rock musical kicks off at the Sydney Opera House from 11 January, before playing strictly limited seasons atAdelaide Festival Centre's Her Majesty's Theatre from 19 January, Crown Theatre Perth from 2 February, Melbourne's Comedy Theatre from 23 February and Queensland Performing Arts Centre in Brisbane from 13 April. Just announced in addition to these dates, the tour will rock on to Darwin from May 3 at Playhouse, The Darwin Entertainment Centre.
Joining Grinspoon's Phil Jamieson in the shared role of St Jimmy are two of Australia's most-loved rock front women, multi-ARIA Award winner, singer/songwriter and guitarist Sarah McLeod from The Superjesus and nationally-acclaimed singer/songwriter and guitarist Adalita from Magic Dirt.
Internationally, the role of St Jimmy has been played rotationally by rock personalities including: Billie Joe Armstrong, Melissa Etheridge, Chris Cheneyand Phil Jamieson. The production's Executive Producer Nick Skubij is thrilled to add Sarah McLeod and Adalita to the Australian list. "When casting, we wanted to attract the country's best talent, from multiple music genres to this show - Phil, Adalita and Sarah have fronted three of the biggest bands in Australia and to have them join a cast of established and emerging music theatre performers is going to be electric." Skubij states.
Sarah McLeod says on joining the cast "I am so excited to have been offered this role. I was secretly envious earlier this year when I heard Chris (Cheney) and Phil (Jamieson) were doing it. I've always wanted to be involved in musical theatre but so far hadn't found the right vehicle. And then BAM...a role that is so much up my alley. I totally relate to the split personality of Jesus Of Suburbia and St Jimmy. My whole life I've felt like I've lived with a little devil on my shoulder whispering in my ear psyching me into trouble! At least that's who I blame when I do get in trouble! The music is great too, it's punk but it's got this 60s feel to it with some of the melodies and harmonies that I just love. It's really cleverly put together. I can't wait to be a part of something so different, challenging and downright mega-town cool!"
As the lead singer/guitarist and primary songwriter for 3 x ARIA Award winning rock band The Superjesus, Sarah McLeod's career began in the late 90s. The Superjesus achieved platinum album sales and multiple Top 40 singles including Gravity, Down Again and Secret Agent Man which are still rock radio staples nationally. When The Superjesus hiatus began in the early 2000s, Sarah's solo career soared. Releasing a number of EP's and collaborations with The Living End's Chris Cheney, The Tea Party's Jeff Martin, and the Baby Animals' Mick Skelton, and a side project band called Screaming Bikini, Sarah solidified her musical ability across a range of genre's including hard rock, 50s & 60s barber shop and electronica. Sarah released Rocky's Diner in 2017 which debuted in the ARIA Top 20 albums chart.
Adalita remarks on the announcement "I'm so excited to be playing St Jimmy in American Idiot, it just feels like the right role that's come at the right time. Musical theatre is something I've done before but not on this scale. I know it can be a really high-pressure environment, but I love a challenge and I'm super keen to step up. The songs are incredible, the story is great, and I've always had a lot of respect for Green Day and Billie Joe Armstrong. It's a massive honour and I can't wait to get stuck in, it's going to be a blast!"
Adalita is best known as front woman for the multi-ARIA Award nominated Aussie rock band Magic Dirt, who have cemented their status as one of the country's best loved and highly respected bands. Since 1989, Adalita, principal songwriter and one of the founding members of Magic Dirt, has been writing and producing records, touring the world and is an integral part of the Australian music scene, garnering a passionate and loyal following and countless accolades. Magic Dirt received nine ARIA Award nominations and secured 4 x Top 40 releases on the ARIA Albums Chart. Since 2011 Adalita has forged a successful solo recording career and her second album All Day Venus blitzed the music scene, landing her a 2014 ARIA Award nomination for Best Female Artist and the Age/Music Victoria award for Best Female. Adalita is currently working on her highly-anticipated third studio album.
Joining Phil, Sarah and Adalita is an all-Australian cast led by Linden Furnell as Johnny, the protagonist of the story. Linden was the winner of the 2016 Rob Guest Endowment Award and was last seen in the Australian tour of Kinky Boots and in the sold-out seasons of RENT.
Phoebe Panaretos will reprise the role of Whatsername which earned her a 2017 Helpmann Award® nomination for Best Female Actor in a Supporting Role in a Musical. Phoebe made her professional debut when she was just 11 and since then has made international headlines being handpicked by Baz Lurhman to play the lead role of Fran in Strictly Ballroom the Musical.
Rounding out the cast are Connor Crawford as Tunny, Kaylah Attard as Extraordinary Girl, Alex Jeans as Will and Ashleigh Taylor as Heather with Erin Clare, Christopher Scalzo, Nicholas Kyriacou, Kyla Bartholomeusz, Maxwell Simon, Vidya Makan, Phoenix Mendoza and Kuki Tipoki.
Winner of two Tony Awards® and the 2010 Grammy Award® for Best Musical Show Album, American Idiot features every song from Green Day's iconic album American Idiot as well as several hits from their follow up release, 21st Century Breakdown. This album not only defined Green Day as a band but also gave a voice to a generation waiting for the opportunity to let their hair down and embrace their youth and individuality.
Developed by Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong (lyrics) and Tony Award® winner Michael Mayer (Book and lyrics), American Idiot boldly took the American musical in a new direction, capturing not just the sound of a generation, but also the frustrations, fears, dreams and challenges of life in the media- saturated, post 9/11 era.
It tells the story of three best mates grappling with the decision to either challenge the status quo and break out of their aimless rut or to remain in the safe confines of their urban existence. Their quest for true meaning in a world full of violence and dissolution leads them on a journey of self-discovery, heartache and revelation.
Green Day's musical channels the grungy spirit of punk while also plucking at the heartstrings - discover what all the noise is about!
Photo: Adalita, Phil Jamieson, Sarah McLeod - Photo Credit: Dylan Evans