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Don't want to look like an American Idiot
February 21, 2012 8:22 AM   Subscribe

What do my wife and I wear to see American Idiot?

My wife got me tickets to see American Idiot in Minneapolis this Thursday and we don't know what to wear. I've seen WAY more than my share of theater but it was always backstage or from the truss spots. I never paid attention to what people wear to a show. I don't care all that much but my wife does more so and we don't want to stick out - I already do since I'm 6'7" so I don't need to draw any extra attention.

We're both 35 and average build. We dress pretty middle of the road for Minneapolis and lean slightly to the hipster side. I'd probably wear tan jeans and a plain colored long sleeved Henley with Van's if left to my own devices. My wife would wear similar styles.

Sorry if this has been asked (though I couldn't find anything) or seems inconsequential - it pretty much is, but it's nagging us.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (22 answers total)
 
You can wear whatever you want. The outfit you describe sounds fine, particularly for a Green Day musical. It's rare to go to the theater and see everyone in tuxedos, unless it's opening night or something.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:30 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Heh - I should clarify that I wasn't thinking about a suit or anything. Just if we'll look over- or under-dressed in our everyday street clothes. And we're not heading out to pick up some new thing for this event.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 8:32 AM on February 21, 2012


I do not think you'll look under-dressed in street clothes- I imagine most of the crowd will be wearing similar duds.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:35 AM on February 21, 2012


I'd imagine most people will be in the business casual realm (dress pants or khakis, button down shirts or sweaters) but I don't think anyone is going to point and laugh at you in the outfit you described.
posted by something something at 8:37 AM on February 21, 2012


It's basically impossible to stick out in a theater these days -- people will wear everything from jeans and t-shirts to suits and ties. You won't likely see sweats or tuxes, but everything in between is fair game.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:37 AM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I have been to many shows at that theater in msp, although not that one yet. You will be fine dressed as planned. Just dont dress like you are cleaning out your garage and you will fit in. The theater is a mixed bag of people these days.
posted by supercapitalist at 8:38 AM on February 21, 2012


Yes to what everyone said, but I would suggest that you try to anticipate which crowd you might not want to stick out to. The audience? The performers? The venue staff?

The venue staff will be hardest to please, because until and unless the entire audience arrives in ballgowns, tuxedos and monocles, they'll be waving their hands at the downfall of western civilization. (I joke. Mostly.)

The audience is harder to gauge, because they'll be a mixture of people who are eagerly awaiting this particular rock musical (and thus have a generally grunge/punk attitude) and people who are 85 and have season tickets to the series of performances. They'll be wearing orthopedic shoes and they'll leave at intermission, if not before.

The performers are your safest bet, I suspect. They'll know their target demographic. They'll want their art to reach that target demographic. And the only way they'll know that, is if they see their target demographic staring back at them from the audience. They might not actually be a PART of that target demographic, but they'll know who they're performing to very well. And it isn't the bluehairs in orthopedic shoes.

Dress for those folks. Show up in all your hipster glory. Wear plaid and lensless glasses and facial hair and a fedora. They'll appreciate it from the stage when they look out and see you, rather than a bunch of people wearing frumpy midwestern khakis and a polo. They'll know that you're there to really appreciate their art and that you weren't just dragged in by a Groupon or season tickets.
posted by jph at 8:53 AM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


Dress in something you feel comfortable in, by which I mean both in terms of fitting in with the rest of the crowd and sitting down for two or three hours. It's a musical based on Green Day songs, so the dress code is not going to be as formal as, say, the opera.
posted by mippy at 8:54 AM on February 21, 2012


Dress for those folks. Show up in all your hipster glory. Wear plaid and lensless glasses and facial hair and a fedora. They'll appreciate it from the stage when they look out and see you, rather than a bunch of people wearing frumpy midwestern khakis and a polo. They'll know that you're there to really appreciate their art and that you weren't just dragged in by a Groupon or season tickets.

I've been in shows (big productions, albeit ones which didn't pay). We couldn't give a lemon-scented fuck what the audience wore.
posted by mippy at 8:55 AM on February 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


That's so funny mippy, since I sing with the symphony and my experience is so different. There is always chatter among the choristers about what the audience is wearing. When we do Messiah at Christmas, we're always thrilled to see people shimmering in their best sequins by candlelight. (Though, last year someone dressed as what can only be described as a sexy elf, and that was hilarious, shocking and soooo wrong.) When we did a Final Fantasy video game concert, we were thrilled to see cosplayers in the audience. And when we performed the scores to Fellowship of the Ring and The Matrix, it was great to see elf ears and trench coats taking their seats in the venue. Maybe we're just more sensitive and anxious that our chosen art form is probably dying a long, slow, partially-forgotten death. It is certainly not our chief concern, but along with whether the series sold well, it isn't ever overlooked and it is always a topic of discussion among the performers.
posted by jph at 9:10 AM on February 21, 2012


jph I did get a kick out of your response, but I've been venue staff very often and in the act several times and I really didn't care what people wore in either case. I am one of those people who are eagerly awaiting this punk opera (or whatever the press wants to call it this week) so I'll mostly be focusing on the fact that I finally get a chance to see the music that I love put on the stage that I love in (hopefully) perfect synchronicity.

Serious question - where have you seen the venue staff or talent care how the audience looked - unless it was way out of line? (and I don't expect many 85 year olds at this show, but if there are, then I wouldn't judge them as patron, staff, or talent.)
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 9:11 AM on February 21, 2012


Sorry jph, didn't catch the answer on preview. This seems to not quite fit those situations, but I can't argue them either. Thanks for the real-world examples.
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 9:14 AM on February 21, 2012


There was a lot of exasperated venue staff running around a Goran Bregovich concert I went to last fall. The Society for the Performing Arts (a generic performing arts series) put it on, and they really got a totally different audience than I think they were accustomed to when the Balkan community of Houston showed up waving national flags and dancing in their seats. The attendees even sort of formed a little crowd up at the foot of the stage, and the poor venue staff were beside themselves trying to decide whether they could send them back to their seats or if they should just let it happen. The bluehairs, almost certainly season ticket holders, left within the first half hour. The band, on the other hand, loved it.

Anyway, that was all just by way of saying, you're more than fine if you decide to go comfy, casual and cool. The story would be different if you were going to hear Verdi's Requiem or see The Nutcracker.
posted by jph at 9:26 AM on February 21, 2012


Fair enough - I would have loved to see cosplayers in the audience! But it was light opera rather than straight classical so it wouldn't have stood out as much (the nerd/light opera crossover is a lot, lot higher than you'd think).

OP - why don't you wear your Green Day tee with a smart blazer, then?
posted by mippy at 10:10 AM on February 21, 2012


You don't wear the shirt of the band you're going to see. Don't be that guy.
posted by narcoleptic at 10:35 AM on February 21, 2012 [9 favorites]


I went to see American Idiot in Chicago last week. I went business casual (slacks and a nice top) but I saw people in all sorts of clothes - from jeans to dresses. You'll be fine.
posted by SisterHavana at 10:43 AM on February 21, 2012


I saw American Idiot on Broadway last winter (with Billy Jo Armstrong; awesome!). I went in slacks and a button-down and felt I was on the "nicer dressed" end of the spectrum. Not over-dressed, but I think I would have been fine in a suit or jeans/t-shirt.
posted by Betelgeuse at 11:33 AM on February 21, 2012


*Billie Joe Armstrong

geez . . .
posted by Betelgeuse at 11:44 AM on February 21, 2012


I saw it at the Berkeley Rep (my favorite show of that season!). Depending on the theatre you'll likely see your fair share of "blue hairs" dressed to the hilt, but you'll also see people in jeans & button up shirts. So dress decently but no need to be fancy (or grungy).
posted by crayon at 1:21 PM on February 21, 2012


Nobody cares what you wear.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 2:51 PM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


I go to a lot of musicals. Wear whatever you want and there will be people there dressed nicer and not as nice as you.
posted by fromageball at 6:24 PM on February 21, 2012


I'm an actor by profession. The only time I've ever cared what the audience was wearing was when I was concerned about splashing them with fake blood. In that scenario we encouraged patrons who did not wish to be covered in gore to sit further from the playing space.

(In that particular show I had the privilege of cutting someone's genitals off. A blood pack and a fake penis? Now that's theatre!)
posted by stray at 8:10 PM on February 21, 2012


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