There’s something exceptionally meta
about watching a bunch of Green Day impersonators pretend to
play the cover songs they make their livings performing.
Last Wednesday, the cast of Green Day’s
American Idiot, the Broadway musical, made an appearance
at the new Midtown location of Village Pourhouse
to participate in the venue’s Green Day Rock Band Challenge.
Fans of the show were invited to face
off against cast members at the video game, known for its popularity
amongst those too lazy to learn to play actual instruments.
On the first floor of the two-level
bar, button-down-shirt after-work types conversed over any of over 100
available beers. Upstairs, a mix of Green Day die-hards, PR people and
photographers elbowed their way into a cramped corner to view and partake
in the somewhat chaotic Rock Band action.
Though billed as a competition, the
evening devolved into more of a free-for-all karaoke night. There were
moments of harmonious collaboration between the stars and their overly
enthusiastic fans, but the cast’s excitement about the evening quickly
“I found myself getting tired, and
I was like, why am I doing this on my night off?” joked Christina
Sajous, who plays the Extraordinary Girl. “But seriously, it’s great
that we have lots of consistent fans, people who come to see the
show every night. I wanted to give the fans a chance to sing.”
One fan said she had seen the show
about eight times. “I got to sing with Chase [Peacock, an ensemble
cast member] tonight!” she said, “It’s great that the cast never
gets tired of their fan’s appreciation.”
But tired they got: It didn’t take
long for the majority of the cast to ditch the game and the drooling
fans to congregate in a semi-secluded back area of the first floor.
Once there, they socialized amongst themselves, maintaining an air of
As she strategically inched her way
toward the exit door, Alysha Umphress—an ensemble cast member whose
powerful, breathy vocals stole the Rock Band show—stopped to talk for
a moment. “The first time I ever played Rock Band, it was Beatles
Rock Band. They threw us a little party, and I got to play with the
actual Billie Joe Armstrong. It was totally surreal.”
The cast, most of the bar patrons and this reporter seemed to agree: The evening was best spent enjoying
the Pourhouse’s ample beer and liquor selection, in the company of
an exceptionally friendly staff and a diverse crowd of American idiots.