"American Idiot" has a story, but chances are you're there for the music. Although it missed out on the Tony Award in 2010 for its big run on Broadway, the show's album did nab a Grammy, and the title comes from the song and album by Green Day, that punk-rock band headed up by Billie Joe Armstrong. The rock musical is more or less a stage adaptation of Green Day's 2004 studio album; Armstrong gets a credit for lyrics as well as for the book of the musical, alongside director Michael Mayer. About that story: It weaves in the title song, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" and "Holiday," and is loosely described as the story of three boyhood friends as they grow up in the decade of the aughts. One gets his girlfriend pregnant, one enlists in the Army and one chases after a woman. All share a sense of alienation from suburbia and a media-saturated world -- the sort that translates well into a monster guitar riff.
Why go: This is the first national tour and first Chicago stop for "American Idiot."
Reconsider: Your choices of musicals come with orchestras, not punk bands.
Details: Through Feb. 19 at the Oriental Theatre, 24 W. Randolph St.; $27-$95; 800-775-2000, broadwayinchicago.com