UAC Theatre to Rock Out With AMERICAN IDIOT This August

UAC Theatre to Rock Out With AMERICAN IDIOT This August

The music of Green Day will come to life onstage this summer as Up and Coming Theatre Company presents the regional premiere of "American Idiot."

Performances will take place at 2 p.m. Aug. 8, 9 and 16, and 8 p.m. Aug. 8, 13 and 15 at the Forest View Education Center, 2121 S. Goebbert Road in Arlington Heights. Tickets are available for $20 each at www.uactheatre.com.

Based on Green Day's Grammy-winning, multiplatinum album, "American Idiot" is a rock musical that tells the story of three friends on a quest for meaning in a post-9/11 world. As fate leads each one down a different path, each must contend with both external obstacles and his own inner demons.

"I feel that each decade of musical theatre has its generation-defining show," director Jim Shedd says. "I find 'American Idiot' to be a beautiful piece that comments on the youth of America after 9/11. While it is a story about that disenfranchised era, it is also a universal story about the mistakes we make when we are young and the consequences of growing up. Between the tale and the amazing music of Green Day - the band responsible for my first compact disc - I knew I had to direct this piece at some point."

"American Idiot," which won two Tony Awards in 2010, features all the music from Green Day's 2004 concept album, as well as selections from the band's 2009 follow-up, "21st Century Breakdown." The show's songs include "American Idiot," "Holiday," "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," "Wake Me Up When September Ends," "Know Your Enemy" and "21 Guns."

"UAC's production of 'American Idiot' is unique in regard to our vision," Shedd says. "We have placed the show in a Chicago factory, which is mass-producing these defective American kids. We have found moments to move characters about and connect our large ensemble, while telling this amazing story in 90 minutes. The curtain rises, and you have no idea what energy is about to hit you in the face and keep you on the edge of your seat.

"We are excited to introduce Alex Levy, a 20-year-old force of nature, making his regional debut as Johnny. He will propel you into this world of disillusionment fueled by 'soda pop and Ritalin.'"

The production's award-winning cast of 46 Chicagoland performers also includes Cale Singleton as Will, Roy J. Brown as Tunny, Leah Davis as Whatsername, Ashley Foreman as the Extraordinary Girl, Abby Vombrack as Heather and Mitch Schaeflein as St. Jimmy.

The cast also includes Linda Andrews, Alayna Appino-Tabone, Catherine Athenson, Grace Baird, Lizzy Behrendt, Lauren Brooks, Tyler Callahan, RJ Cecott, Rob Chesler, Erica Chin, Kat Chwalisz, Nicolette de Guia, Jay-R De Leon, Cole Festenstein, Chris Filarski, John Fogarty, Chris Gonzalez, Britny Hendrickson, Julie Hoadley, Amanda Jacobs, Sheradin Jansen, Lauren Jordan, Katey Kelleher, Jacqueline Kotula, Jennifer Ledesma, Christina Melgar, Domingo Morales, Amanda Nach, Bennett Norris, Erin O'Brien, Lisa Panizo, Noreen Patel, Marni Robins, Bob Spidale, Samantha Stonecipher, Rebecca Sweeney, Alex Vito, Kelly Wojo and Max Zumpano.

"The enthusiasm and excitement of this incredibly talented cast is infectious," producer Lindsey Weiss says. "Audiences will be drawn into the show and want to know these characters. The amazing vocals, dancing and energy will leave the audience in awe."

The production's music director is Kelly Fitzgerald, and the choreographer is Carly Vadnais. The associate producer is James Faust, and the pit director is Justin Kono. The production staff also includes Rick Keeley, lighting and scenic design; Sandi Haggard, costume design; Julia Trevor, assistant director/production stage manager; and Meghan Graves, hair/makeup design and assistant costume design.

"UAC is very excited to present the regional premiere of 'American Idiot,'" Weiss says. "Our company loves to bring new theater experiences to our audiences, so we relish the opportunity to perform something that many people in the community have not yet seen."

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.uactheatre.com.

For more than 20 years, Up and Coming Theatre Company has aimed to present professional-quality productions while providing aspiring artists with opportunities to grow in their work. A proud member of the American Association of Community Theatre and the Illinois Theatre Association, UAC received the ITA's Award of Excellence, Community Theatre Division, in 2009.

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