by Alyson Chavez
“If we’re very lucky, once in a generation an unexpected new musical comes along and changes everything. That is the thrilling achievement of Spring Awakening.”- John Heilpern
On December 10, 2006, Broadway was forever changed with the edgy, pop-rock musical Spring Awakening. A musical that follows the lives of young teens through their “thrilling, complicated and mysterious time of sexual awakening” (PLAYBILL), Spring Awakening is bound to relate to audience members in a various of ways.
In the 2007, Spring Awakening took home 8 Tony Awards, including Best New Musical and Best Original Score (PLAYBILL). Spring Awakening played 859 performances before closing on January 18, 2009 (PLAYBILL). Shortly after closing, Spring Awakening went and traveled the US for a highly successful national tour. On the tour, Spring Awakening hit big cities such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, and our nearby city, Sacramento. For those who missed the show the first time around, Spring Awakening is back and playing at the beautiful Harris Center located at Folsom Lake College.
As a cast member of the show, I can express to you with full confidence that this is a show you do not want to miss! Since January, our very talented cast has been rehearsing nonstop, and on April 10th, our show will finally open to the public. Tonight, at our final dress rehearsal, I had the privilege to ask some of my fellow cast members about why this show is so relevant to today’s time period and what they hope the audience will take away from our production.
One of the most noticeable themes in Spring Awakening is, without a doubt, sex. And while the theme of sex could easily turn audience members away, Angelo Giurbino, who plays schoolboy Hanschen, promises the audience is in for an unforgettable experience. When discussing the themes, Giurbino acknowledges that, “[the themes are] very risqué…but I think that is what the arts are for: to cause a reaction.” And while some people could argue that this show is not appropriate for a college campus, Giurbino disagrees. “Spring Awakening is a really great production to produce at a college campus because many of the students are still growing and are living parallel lives with the characters in this show.” David Taylor, who plays a teenage boy by the name of Georg, agrees with Giurbino and says that what he finds most interesting about Spring Awakening is how “a show that takes place in the late 1800’s is still so relevant to today.” He say, “It’s very interesting to see people dressed in period outfits, act as if they are living in the late 1800’s, and then all of a sudden jump out with microphones and start singing punk-rock music.”
In regards to the type of music that audience members can expect to hear, Claire Alano, who doubles as young-teenager Anna and the Dance Captain/Assistant Choreographer, says that this show has “spectacular vocals.” She then mentioned that, “many of the actors are very vocally experienced, which is important because [this show] is very vocally driven musical.” Amelia Bethel, who plays Thea, adds, “The beauty of the music in Spring Awakening makes for an incredible theatrical experience-it transcends its category” Additionally, Chris Emery, who plays troubled teen Moritz, states, “These songs are more contemporary than any musical I’ve seen in a long time. These are songs that could be playing on the radio.”
While the vocals are always important in a musical, there are many other elements that help bring this exhilarating musical to life. Emery went on to say, “The set designed by Ian Wallace is top-notch! Probably one of the best I’ve ever seen or had the privilege to perform on.” In addition to the set being a stand out in Spring Awakening, collectively, the cast feels that they have been challenged in every way imaginable and have been able to grow as performers. Under the direction of David Harris, the cast continues to strive to improve the show with every rehearsal. David Harris was also able to assemble a fabulous artistic team to help with this production. Debbie Worth (choreographer), Christopher Cook (vocal director), Paulette Sands-Gilbert (costume designer), Samuel Q Coquerille (lighting designer) and John Fynes (sound designer) have all tremendously helped Spring Awakening blossom into a groundbreaking production.
Don’t miss this revolutionary production!
Spring Awakening runs April 10th-13th on Stage 1 at the Harris Center located at Folsom Lake College. Ticket prices are $18/general and $12/student with I.D. For more information visit www.harriscenter.net
"PLAYBILL." Spring Awakening on Broadway. N.p., n.d. Web. 09 Apr. 2014.
Heilpern, John. "Menu." New York Observer. N.p., 17 July 2006. Web. 09 Apr. 2014.
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