July in Melbourne is all about variety. You've got behemoth blockbuster international musicals (no news there) – but also local indie heroes Watch This and The Production Company doing Sondheim (Merrily We Roll Along) and Andrew Lloyd Webber (Jesus Christ Superstar).
You can see screen stars doing Shakespeare (Geraldine Hakewill and Jai Courtney in Macbeth; Jessica Tovey in The Merchant of Venice), and brand-new Australian work (Heart is a Wasteland at Malthouse; Human Error at Meat Market; Steve Vizard's new cabaret Vigil at Arts Centre Melbourne).
If you want to see the new voices setting the world's stages alight, you can check out new(ish) works by young American playwright Jen Silverman (The Moors), and young Brits Nick Payne (Incognito) and Alice Birch (Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again).
If you're just after a bit of fun, there's alt-cabaret to spare – from Velvet's Boogie Wonderland to Blanc de Blanc's intoxicating mix of sex, freaks and dance, 5-star Sydney favourite Mother's Ruin, and the return of Finucane & Smith's Glory Box.
Premiering in 2009 and transferring to Broadway the following year, American Idiot is a vision of post-911 American dystopia penned by lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong and Tony Award-winner Michael Mayer (Spring Awakening), with music from Green Day's Grammy Award-winning 2004 album of the same name, and 2009 follow-up 21st Century Breakdown. The story follows three teens, two of whom leave the 'burbs to find themselves while one remains. This Australian production, which premiered in February 2017 at QPAC, is directed by directed by Craig Ilott, the guy behind alt-cabaret show Velvet, the Spiegeltent show Smoke and Mirrors, and the Australian production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch. “It’s so rare to come across a piece as rich, stimulating and challenging as this," Ilott says of the show. "Ultimately it’s a rallying cry from the heart by one of the world's best bands.” In their 4-star review of the 2010 Broadway debut, Time Out New York wrote: Rage courses through the Green Day-scored American Idiot and fittingly, this andrenalized gut-punch of a musical is bound to piss you off. Whether you're a Broadway nostalgist longing for middle-of-the-road kitsch, or a sullen teen who vicariously thrills to the show's grimacing, bird-flipping punks, your heart will pound, your pupils will dilate, you will sweat and breathe hard. Such a state is intense but not permanent: Anger is just a drug, after all. But for the 90 minutes that American Idiot has you in its white-knuckle gras