Volume at 'American Idiot' performance chases couple out


Your self-appointed music critic struck a sour note this week with some readers.

To my utter amazement, not everyone agreed with my review of the recent appearance of the edgy rock opera “American Idiot” at The Smith Center for the Performing Arts. The musical is based on the life and lyrics of Billie Joe Armstrong and the iconic punk band Green Day. Most of the column responses were positive, I swear, but frankly those aren’t as much fun to read.

So try this one, instead.

Smith Center regular Leslie Rips observed, “As a subscriber to the Smith Center’s Broadway Series I was not entitled to see Green Day’s ‘American Idiot’ unless I purchased additional tickets. Having heard so much about what an experience it would be to attend a performance of this edgy Tony Award-winning musical, I did just that and looked forward all summer to going to see it.”

For Rips and her husband, the music was more than a little loud.

She writes, “I never had the chance to see the entire show. The acoustics are so spectacular at Smith Center that a loud in-your-face rock band playing at full volume was actually painful. We felt as if our eardrums would burst. After 15 minutes my husband told me he could no longer endure such pain and we just had to leave and so we did. I am truly amazed that more people also didn’t find the ‘noise’ level to be excessive so that the acoustics could have been adjusted for this musical. There is loud and proud and there is screeching and jarring.

“It was a real loss for me as I never did get the opportunity to experience this special musical and to judge for myself the choreography, lyrics and intended messages and whether or not I would, as you say, ‘squirm.’ ”

So I’m guessing they won’t be buying tickets whenever a musical based on the life of Ozzy Osbourne comes to town.

CAB PROTEST: An estimated two dozen former taxi drivers for Frias Transportation took their organizing protest to an unlikely location Wednesday — the offices of the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation at 2800 E. St. Louis.

It appears the drivers’ leaders failed to explain that they might not qualify for unemployment benefits if they simply walked off the job.

HUMBLE HUMM: Former college All-America and Oakland Raiders quarterback David Humm collected a wall full of awards and accolades during his playing days. But when the insidious effects of multiple sclerosis put him on the sidelines, he was reminded of what really matters in life.

This past weekend, the lesson of the importance of family and friends echoed once again for the 61-year-old Bishop Gorman graduate and ex-Nebraska star.

Turnout was strong for the first fundraiser at the Revere Golf Club for the Husker Greats Foundation, the nonprofit that helps offset the medical expenses of Humm and other former Nebraska players.

“It was humbling,” Humm said. “It was better than any Super Bowl or any championship. These are friends of mine who took time out and spent their good money. I’m very honored and humbled.”

In addition to no fewer than 13 former Huskers teammates and ex-Cowboys quarterback and UNLV star Glenn Carano, the golf tournament also drew a lineup of former Raiders, including Las Vegan Frank Hawkins, Ira Matthews, Charles Philyaw, Raymond Chester, Steve Sylvester and Morris Bradshaw.

ON THE BOULEVARD: Kim Krantz, a priceless character and one of the great “covered” showgirls in Las Vegas history, has died. A memorial service is set for noon July 6 at Our Lady of Las Vegas Catholic Church. … After overcoming bureaucratic complaints about its indoor-outdoor bar, Mingo Kitchen & Lounge was scheduled to officially open Thursday at 1017 S. First Street, Suite 180, with Mayor Carolyn Goodman brandishing scissors.

Have an item for Bard of the Boulevard? Email comments and contributions to jsmith@reviewjournal.com or call (702) 383-0295.