The newly formed Asbury Park Theater Company (APTCo) is presenting Green Day’s American Idiot, the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, as the company's debut production. The first weekend of performances took place July 1-3 and photographer John Posada was on hand to take photos. The production returns July 8-10 with shows on Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm and on Sundays at 5:00pm at the Kingsley Theater located inside The Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel, 1401 Ocean Avenue in Asbury Park, NJ.
In the play, Johnny, Tunny, and Will struggle to find meaning in a post-9/11 world. When the three disgruntled men flee the constraints of their hometown for the thrills of city life, their paths are quickly estranged when Tunny enters the armed forces, Will is called back home to attend to familial responsibilities, and Johnny's attention becomes divided by a seductive love interest and a hazardous new friendship. An energy-fueled rock opera, American Idiot, features little dialogue and instead relies on the lyrics from Green Day's groundbreaking album to execute the storyline. American Idiot is a high-concept show with strong social messages.
Green Day’s American Idiot features a cast of local actors and singers with the role of Johnny played by Jeremy Rotolo, the role of Will played by Luke Surretsky, and the role of Tunny played by Connor Closs. Halle Ryan Lipton will be featured along with Avery Gallagher, Janie Hornstien and Kim Trachtenberg. The ensemble includes Grace Allison, Gavin Bailey, Shannah Dolan, Carina Duffy, Emily Gulden, Leah Krupnick, Nathaniel Paris, Luke Pearlberg, Courtney Ravelo, Frank Saverino, Connor Sheridan, Fiona Sheridan, Rose Taylor-Riley and Joey Walsh.
The talented rock singer, producer and local phenom Anthony D’Amato (a/k/a Remember Jones) serves as the show’s Production Supervisor. “When they asked me to help out, I took no time in deciding that I wanted to be a part of this,” says D’Amato. “I have been doing theater my entire life and being an Asbury Park resident, I wanted to be involved in this production. And who doesn’t love Green Day?”
The show is choreographed by Serena Soffer who also resides in Asbury Park. Her long list of credits goes beyond Broadway and includes choreography for the rock band Panic! At The Disco and several national commercials. She was also the assistant choreographer for the movie Rock of Ages starring Tom Cruise. Local artist and Sisters Academy art teacher Jason Sisino is the show’s set designer. The production stage manager and assistant stage manager are Asbury Park residents Antonio Johnson and Carina Duffy respectively. The music director, Andrew Macirowski is also from the greater Asbury Park area.
Green Day’s American Idiot is a big undertaking, but one that is worth the effort, according to Bob Angelini, APTCo’s Managing Director. “The decision to present this as our first show came out of the idea that Asbury Park is such a big rock and roll town. We were a bit concerned about the size of the show, but knew that we could find the talent in this area to pull it off,” says Angelini. “And when we saw that Green Day was headlining the Sea.Hear.Now Festival in Asbury Park in September, it seemed to be a good fit for an awesome summer event, so we just all agreed to go for it.”
“It is important to us to hire as many local professionals for these positions as possible,” says William Whitefield, Producing Artistic Director of APTCo., who directs the show. “It is truly amazing the talent that exists right in our own backyard. I am so convinced that we can have our very own professional theater company right here in Asbury Park that will not only produce some amazing theater but will also produce some of the next theater makers in our School of Dramatic Arts. And since theater arts education is such a high priority for our theater company, we are offering this summer a handful of classes which include a Broadway Showcase and Musical Theater Intensives.”
After American Idiot, the company will present Million Dollar Quartet in December. The Tony Award-winning musical details the night Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins got together in a recording studio in Memphis on December 4, 1956, will run for two weekends. Rounding out the season in April of 2023 will be Broadway play and HBO film, American Son in which an estranged bi-racial couple confronts their feelings about race and bias after their son is detained by the local police.
“After two years of reduced programming due to the pandemic, we are thrilled to finally be producing real theatrical productions. We are excited with the titles we’ve been able to procure and are convinced these shows will be a great fit for Asbury Park. To be in such a nice space at the Berkeley Oceanfront Hotel for our first big production is a thrill. By hosting us, the Berkeley is helping us to achieve our mission of bringing professional theater and theater education to Asbury Park,” said Whitefield.
If your theatre company is interested in having John Posada cover your plays, contact New Jersey Stage at firstname.lastname@example.org. He has taken photos during live performances and dress rehearsals.
ALL PHOTOS BY JOHN POSADA
John Posada is a New Jersey based photographer specializing in live theatre and music performances. For more than 10 years, John has photographed live music events where he mastered the techniques of timing and capturing fast moving action under challenging lighting conditions to capture that perfect moment that tells a story in a single image. Currently, John has photographed over 110 productions for over 70 different theatres and venues. Click here for John's website.