I love the theater but rarely attend Broadway shows.
Why? Well, have you seen the prices of tickets lately?
Thinking about going to Beauty and the Beast? Orchestra and front mezzanine seats — if you can find them — will cost you about $132 each. Dying to watch the Lion King? One ticket now sells for $135. Want to see the award-winning Jersey Boys? You’ll have to wait until March and pay about $150 for a seat.
So when I had the opportunity to see a new musical on Broadway, I jumped at the chance. I ran to the theatre without even pausing to read reviews or learn anything about the show and frankly, I’m glad I did. I just saw Spring Awakening with no preconceptions or expectations and from the opening scene, I was completely enthralled.
This rock musical is based on a 19-century German play of the same name that was so controversial, it was banned from the stage for more than 70 years. In this adaptation by singer/songwriter Duncan Sheik and playwright Steven Sater, a dozen small town teenagers struggle towards maturity, trying to make sense of the conflicting messages they receive from the repressive, dictatorial adults in their lives and the urgent, confusing stirrings within their own bodies.
It sounds like a typical, stale coming-of-age story, but Spring Awakening is fresh, vibrant, exciting, intense and still packs the power to shock. This isn’t a show for the kids or blue-haired Aunt Hilda, but I can’t remember the last time any theatrical performance kept me on the edge of my seat the way this one did. And the music … I never thought I’d walk out of a theatre humming tunes about incest, abuse, rape, abortion and suicide, but I did, I did, I did.