Alex Jeans and Linden Furnell star in American Idiot

They both got their start performing on the old Springwood Civic Centre stage but two Blue Mountains actors will swap the defunct venue for the Sydney Opera House from January 11-14.

Alex Jeans and Linden Furnell play lead roles in the hit Green Day musical, American Idiot.

For 24-year-old Jeans, his Opera House debut is the culmination of his ambitions to become a professional performer.

“It’s what I dreamt of as a kid so I can’t believe I’m going to get to do it,” said the former Blaxland High School student.

Furnell, 29, has performed on the Opera House stage once before – as a teenager with his Wycliffe Christian School rock band in a HSC Encore concert.

“It’s quite exciting to come back professionally now because we were sloppy has hell back then – as high school bands can be!” he said.

Jeans and Furnell credit their Blue Mountains roots for much of their success as performers. Although their paths never crossed in local productions, they were both involved with Blue Mountains Musical Society as well as high school shows.

“I’ve done some shows with different musical societies over the years and Blue Mountains [Musical Society] is a step above… There must be something in the water because the people from the Mountains have just got something else,” said Jeans.

Furnell is similarly appreciative of the grounding the society gave him.

“I’ve forged lifelong friendships from the musical society so I’m grateful for that. It opened my eyes to that [musical theatre] world.”

The pair are inhabiting another world in American Idiot – that of lifelong friends grappling with the decision to either challenge the status quo or to remain in the safe confines of their urban existence. 

Jeans previously performed his role of Will – a young man whose life is thrown a curveball when his girlfriend falls pregnant – in the musical’s highly successful 2017 Brisbane season.

New to this production, Furnell plays Johnny, a character he describes as “a bit of a broken soul with a good heart”.

“He sort of reminds me of the BMX dudes I’d hang out with when I was 15-years-old in the Mountains… I’m drawing a lot from that,” he said.

The two leads are joined by another Blue Mountains native in the cast, Hazelbrook’s Erin Clare who is part of the ensemble.

The musical features every song from Green Day’s iconic album American Idiot, as well as several songs from their follow-up release, 21st Century Breakdown. 

It stars Grinspoon frontman Phil Jamieson, an Aussie rocker familiar to both Jeans and Furnell from their own teenage years.

“In my first rock band in high school we played a few Grinspoon songs and now to be working with him is kind of crazy. He’s brilliant, he’s an absolute dream,” said Jeans.

Going on his experience of the Brisbane production, he said the show has wide audience appeal.

“Theatre-lovers come and they love the show because it’s such brilliant story – and it’s a real story, it happens to real people,” he said.

“And then you have people who love Green Day, so you have the rock and roll fans – and the music theatre fans –  and they both love the show.”

After its limited season at the Sydney Opera House, the production will tour nationally to Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane.

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