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Hypocrites to stage ‘American Idiot’

What do you do as an encore to a marathon of Greek tragedies and a re-envisioned take on Gilbert & Sullivan operettas?

Well, if you are The Hypocrites, you try your hand at a rock musical. And so it will be as the company presents the Chicago premiere of “American Idiot,” the hit Broadway musical that features music by Green Day, the Grammy Award-winning punk band, lyrics by the band’s frontman/guitarist Billie Joe Armstrong, and a book by Armstrong and Michael Mayer.

The show, which will open in early September and kick of The Hypocrites’ 2015-2016 season, will be directed by Steve Wilson, with musical direction by Andra Velis Simon and choreography by Katie Spelman. Performances will be at The Hypocrites’ new home, The Den Theatre Mainstage, 1329-1333 N. Milwaukee in Chicago’s Wicker Park neighborhood.

Tickets for “American Idiot” will go on sale Feb. 24 at the-hypocrites.com. Casting will be announced at a later date.

Based on Green Day’s multi-platinum album of the same name, “American Idiot” follows the paths of three lifelong friends who are forced to choose between their dreams and the safety of suburbia in a post-9/11 world. The musical features such hit songs as “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “21 Guns,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends,” “Holiday” and the blockbuster title track, “American Idiot.”

In a prepared statement, Sean Graney, The Hypocrites’ artistic director, noted: “I am thrilled to program Green Day’s “American Idiot” and be among the first in the nation to regionally produce this musical which perfectly encompasses the energetic spirit of a generation. I have wanted to bring this show to our audiences ever since I first heard about its development at Berkeley Rep in 2009. Steve Wilson, one of the most tenured member of The Hypocrites, who joined our ranks just a year after our inception, will direct this production, and I could not imagine a more perfect pairing.”