Young Professionals ‘American Idiot’ is at the Des Moines Civic Center this week. (Special to Juice)

‘American Idiot’ is at the Des Moines Civic Center this week. (Special to Juice)

‘American Idiot’ vs. ‘Mamma Mia’: Two big musicals inspired by popular acts

Published on January 21st, 2014 | by Joe Lawler

Here’s the 21st century breakdown.

“American Idiot”
vs.“Mamma Mia”
Green Day
Inspired by the songs of
2009 (California) 2010 (Broadway)
1999 (London) 2001 (Broadway)
Three nominations, two wins
Tony Awards
Five nominations, no wins
Optioned by Tom Hanks
Film version
Made in 2008, starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan and Amanda Seyfried
Three youths attempt to escape the monotony of suburbia.
A young bride tries to determine which of three men is her father.
“American Idiot,” “Boulevard of Broken Dreams,” “Wake Me Up When September Ends”
Featured songs
“Mama Mia,” “Dancing Queen,” “Take a Chance on Me”
John Gallagher Jr. (plays Jim Harper on “The Newsroom”)
Notable cast alumni
Hilton McRae (played Green Leader in “Return of the Jedi”)
Billie Joe Armstrong co-wrote the book and played the character of St. Jimmy.
Band member involvement
Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson were involved with the musical’s production.
Years after album the musical happened
Opened 18 years after Abba’s last album
421 performances in 2010-2011
Broadway run
In its 13th year with more than 5,000 performances. It’s the 10th longest running show in Broadway history.


About the Author

Joe Lawler covers music and more for Juice Magazine. E-mail him at or follow his updates on Twitter @JoeLawler

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