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2 Cool 4 Theatre? Berkeley Rep Grows Young With Premiere of 'American Idiot'

Most of the time, a night at the theater at Berkeley Rep is filled with an audience of full-on grown-ups with faculty beards and grey streaks.  The crowd at last night’s opening of the world premiere of “American Idiot”, the staged adaptation of the Green Day concept album, was a horse of many snazzier colors and an entirely more youthful demographic.

Swarms of vogue young bloods turned the lobby at the Roda Theater into the "It" spot amidst paparazzi and TV cameras. Chicks with glittery sequined mini-dresses and funky stockings and dudes with arm-long tattoos or foot long side burns, crowded out boomers and critics, and even the show’s producer Tom Hulce (now a burly, bearded bear of a man, much much changed from his boy-ingénue of Animal House).

And while Berkley Rep has always had an after party, the theater’s courtyard has never seen the likes of this. With Levi's sponsoring – and projecting the show’s (and their own) brand logos on the walls across the streets – Berkley Rep was turned into a fun house for youth culture.

In the courtyard, trees were strewn with knee-high black boots and pants (why?) a snow cone machine was serving up “adult” snow-cones laced with flavored vodkas (yum.)

Indoors, retro pin ball machines where wizards could play the silver ball. (I’m thinking: a reference to Green Day’s acknowledgement that their rock opera was inspired, in part, by “Tommy.”)

Even edgy hair cuts were being offered and gift bags passed out, with Levis bags and CDs.

The energy was tingling. The show itself was nearly beside the point.

Up next: a review.