When: “Then, he said to me, ‘ Just go crazy,’ so I did these backing vocals. And they used my vocals, so I’m on a Green Day album. And I did “The Forgotten,” which closes the album. And right after [we worked together] on the show, they asked me to do some strings arrangements on ‘ 21st Century Breakdown.’ That was a huge pat on the back, that they really took to my arrangements.”
For Mayer, whose credits include Broadway’s “Spring Awakening” and NBC’s “Smash,” it was about the music from the very beginning.
“At first, I just heard a collection of really great songs that seemed to really resonate to the times we were living in, which was the post 9/11 years, the Bush years,” he says. “Only after listening to it over and over again that I started to hear the narrative ... and all of that seemed very potent to me.”
The challenge was to plot a show where the material is already written, albeit in another form. And when an impasse popped up, Mayer lucked out.
“This is the part where a certain amount of serendipity comes into the situation,” Mayer says. “And it just happened that in that particular moment, Billie Joe started sending me some of the songs from ‘ 21st Century Breakdown,’ their next album. And it just so happens that these songs really resonated. … ‘21 Guns’ is perfect for a full-on song with the full company singing. It’s the first time when everyone in the company is onstage singing.”
Andrew Humann and the company of “American Idiot.” Tuesday through April 6; 8 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. matinees Saturdays (and Wednesday, April 2); 1 p.m. matinees Sundays; 6:30 p.m. Sunday, March 30 Broward Center for the Performing...