Spring Awakening is a rock musical based on the 1892 tragic play of the same name by Frank Wedekind. The original play was so controversial at the time of its publication that it was widely banned. It concerns several teenagers in late-nineteenth century Germany coming into adulthood and struggling with discovering their sexuality without any help from their parents, and there are direct references to sexual violence, abortion, homosexuality, and child abuse, as well as suicide. The musical preserves the same themes and issues and presents them in a musical format.
The score of Spring Awakening includes folk- and rock-inspired up-tempo songs and ballads. Some of the high-energy numbers include "The Bitch of Living," "And Then There Were None," and "Totally F***ed," while the more subdued numbers include "I Believe," "Whispering," and "The Song of Purple Summer." The show uses some anachronistic elements, including the use of hand-held microphones and lighting effects in certain scenes, generating the feel of a rock concert. This is offset by the dramatic scenes that portray the reality of a rural German village.
Spring Awakening premiered on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on December 10, 2006 and ran through January 18, 2009. The original cast featured Jonathan Groff as Melchior and Lea Michele (Glee) as Wendla. The show received 8 Tony Awards including the coveted trio of Best Musical, Best Book, and Best Score; it was widely critically acclaimed and garnered a cult following, including a group called "The Guilty Ones," named after a song from the score. Numerous international productions and tours have followed, and now the show is set to become a classic. Order your Spring Awakening tickets today to see this edgy hit live!Plot Synopsis:
In a small town in late-nineteenth century Germany, several adolescent girls, led by Wendla Bergman, complain that their parents have not explained important life lessons to them, especially the facts of sexuality. Meanwhile, some adolescent boys are studying Virgil in their Latin class. When the nervous and insecure Moritz Stiefel misquotes a passage, his teacher severely reprimands him. When his handsome, rebellious classmate Melchior Gabor tries to defend him, his teacher hits him with a stick. Melchior can not stand the rigid, small-minded attitude of school and the rest of society.
After class, Moritz explains a strange dream to Melchior, who realizes it is an erotic dream that Moritz mistakes for insanity. As the boys talk about their sexual frustration, Melchior agrees to write an illustrated essay on what he has read about sexuality for Moritz. While the girls fantasize about marrying the boys, Hanschen enjoys an erotic postcard and Georg fantasizes about his well-endowed piano teacher, each desiring physical intimacy.
Local girl Martha mistakenly lets it slip that her father has been abusing her physically and sexually. When Wendla encounters Melchior in the woods and tells him this, he is horrified. But at her request, he hits her with a stick so she can feel her friend's pain. When he goes overboard and takes his frustrations out on her, he runs away, leaving her with his journal, which she takes with her.
At school, Moritz discovers that his teachers are failing him even though he got a passing grade because they can not pass every student. His father shames him for this, so he desperately writes to Melchior's mother asking for money to escape to America, but she refuses, leaving him utterly distraught. When a storm hits, Wendla once again encounters Melchior, this time in a hayloft. As they reconcile, they begin to kiss. She resists at first, but eventually gives in and they make love.
When he is thrown out of his home, Moritz comes upon Ilse, a girl who was also disowned and now wanders about aimlessly. As they reminisce about their childhood memories, she hints that she loves him, but he is not receptive. When she leaves for the sanctuary of an artists' colony, he realizes his feelings too late and, feeling alone and hopeless, shoots himself. Meanwhile, Hanschen meets with his timid classmate Ernst and, after sharing his pragmatic view of life, seduces him.
After Moritz's funeral, the school officials try to distract attention from his death, which was caused by their actions, so they implicate Melchior, citing his essay as the true motivation for Moritz's suicide. Melchior is expelled, but his understanding parents only send him to reform school when they hear that Wendla is pregnant, unbeknownst to him. As Melchior and Wendla communicate through letters, he eventually finds out about the baby and rushes home, but Wendla's mother has already forced her daughter to have a risky, secretive abortion. When he finally returns him, he comes upon her headstone in the cemetery. As he prepares to take his own life, the ghosts of Moritz and Wendla convince him to go on with strength, and he vows to always carry their memories with him. Order your Spring Awakening tickets now to see this intensely dramatic story performed live.Awards: 2007 Tony Awards: 11 nominations, 8 wins 2007 Drama Desk Awards: 10 nominations, 4 wins 2008 Grammy Awards: Best Musical Show Album 2010 Olivier Awards: 7 nominations, 4 wins Creative Team: Music Duncan Sheik Lyrics & Book Steven Sater Based on Spring Awakening by Frank Wedekind Spring Awakening News: June 10, 2007 Spring Awakening wins 8 Tony Awards!