The US cast of Tony Award winner American Idiot, the musical inspired by the music of Grammy-winning American punk rock band Green Day which launches its UK premiere production from Southampton tonight (9 October 2012), will help kick off the 2013 Whatsonstage.com Awards in style this December by performing at our annual Awards Launch Party.

Held on Friday 7 December 2012 at the West End's Cafe de Paris, the Launch Party is an invitation-only event where the shortlists are announced - drawn up from public submissions - and the voting for the eventual winners is opened.

The cast of American Idiot will perform Green Day's international chart-topper "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)", in front of a star-studded audience of over 600 industry guests, including actors, playwrights, directors, designers and producers - including myriad nominees - from all of the year's key openings.

In the same week of the Awards Launch Party, American Idiot, which scooped two Tony Awards and a Grammy on Broadway, makes its London premiere at London's HMV Hammersmith Apollo, where it has a strictly limited season from 4 to 16 December 2012.

The all-American cast features Alex Nee as Johnny, with Thomas Hettrick as Tunny, Casey O'Farrell as Will, Alyssa DiPalma as Whatsername, Jenna Rubaii as The Extraordinary Girl, Kennedy Caughell as Heather and Trent Saunders as the drug-dealer character St Jimmy, who was played for 50 shows on Broadway by Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong.

Billed as "the story of three boyhood friends, each searching for meaning in a post 9/11 world," American Idiot features songs from the 2004 album of the same name, as well as the sequel 21st Century Breakdown, and has a book by Green Day frontman Billie Joe Armstrong (see trailer, right).

American Idiot opens tonight and plays until Saturday at Southampton’s Mayflower Theatre then tours to Cardiff’s Millennium Centre (15-20 October); Edinburgh Playhouse (22-27 October); Glasgow Clyde Auditorium (29 October-3 November); Dublin Bord Gaìis Energy (5-10 November); Manchester Palace Theatre (12-24 November); Birmingham Alexandra Theatre (26 November-1 December); and then plays its two-week London season at HMV Hammersmith Apollo (4-16 December).

About the Whatsonstage.com Awards Launch

As well as opening the Whatsonstage.com Awards voting process, the Launch Party has become known as the unofficial curtain-raiser of the Christmas party season, with stars from the year's biggest shows rubbing shoulders with other industry VIPs.

In the 2012 Awards, the event featured guest presentations by Meera Syal, Nigel Lindsay, Bertie Carvel and Jemima Rooper and performances by Richard Fleeshman, Shayne Ward and the cast of Backbeat and was attended by a star-studded audience of almost 700.

The inaugural Launch Party was held at The Venue, before moving to the Dominion Theatre in 2004, Planet Hollywood in 2005 and 2006, and Café de Paris, where it has been every year since with the exception of the 2009 Awards, when it was held at the London Hippodrome as part of Whatsonstage.com's campaign to save the venue as a performance space.

Nominations for the 2013 Whatsonstage.com Awards open to public submission on 1 November 2012, continuing until the end of the month. The full shortlists will be announced at the Launch Party on 7 December, with voting for the winners commencing immediately. Final results are announced during the star-studded Awards Concert, which takes place this year on Sunday 17 February 2013 at the Palace Theatre.

If you'd like to be at this year's event, you can sign up to be one of our limited number of Theatregoer Supporters. For more information, click the link below. For information on corporate sponsorship opportunities, call Terri Paddock on 020 7317 9103 or email sponsors@whatsonstage.com.