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RISE AND BLOOM BROADWAY FANS! We are getting close to celebrating Broadway’s biggest night. The 74th Annual Tony Awards is just 26 DAYS AWAY. With also celebrating Live Theater’s return, we at New York Broadway Tours are about to bring more more iconic performances coming your way on our TOP 50 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN.
At # 26 on our countdown, we take you back in time to Germany in the 19th century where a group of teenagers are going through certain changes in their bodies and the adults never give you the full details. This is Spring Awakening. With a score by Duncan Sheik and lyrics by Steven Sater, the show is based on a German play of the same name that was banned for 100 years by Frank Wedekind.
From the 2016 telecast, Sandra Mae Frank signing with Katie Boeck singing and act as “Wendla”, Daniel N. Durant signing with Alex Boniello singing and acting as “Mortiz”, Austin P. McKenzie doing triple duty as “Melchior”, and the cast of the recent critically acclaimed Deaf West Theatre revival bring some high energy rebellion to a whole new level. Here they are performing a medley of MAMA WHO BORE ME and THE B**** OF LIVING!
SPRING AWAKENING was originally conceived by Duncan Sheik in 2002 having numerous readings, workshops, and concert presentations at Lincoln Center.
The show had it’s official world premiere production in 2006 Off Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company. Following it’s limited engagement success and 3 sold out extensions, the show transferred to Broadway’s Eugene O’Neill Theatre that same year for a complete total of 888 performances. The show featured a young cast which became credited as their breakout show. Under the direction of Tony winner Michael Mayer and choreography by Tony winner Bill T. Jones, the cast included….
Lea Michele (later Alexandra Socha) as “Wendla”,
Tony nominee Jonathan Groff (later Kyle Riabko and Hunter Parrish) as “Melchior”,
Tony winner John Gallagher Jr. (later Blake Bashoff and Gerard Canonico) as “Moritz”,
LOLO originally credited Lauren Pritchard (later Emma Hunton) as “Ilse”,
Christine Estabrook (later Kate Burton and Kristine Nielsen) as “The Adult Woman”,
Tony winner Stephen Spinella (later Glenn Flesher) as “The Adult Man),
Skylar Astin (later Andrew Durand) as “Georg”,
Jonathan B. Wright (later Matt Doyle) as “Hanschen”,
Tony nominee Gideon Glick (later Blake Daniel) as “Ernest”,
Brian Charles Johnson (later Gabriel Violett) as “Otto”,
Tony nominee Lilli Cooper (later Amanda Castaños as “Martha”,
Phoebe Strole (later Emily Kinney) as “Anna”,
Remy Zaken (later Tony nominee Caitlin Kinnunen) as “Thea”.
and more
The original production of SPRING AWAKENING was nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2007 winning 8 including BEST MUSICAL and BEST ORIGINAL SCORE (for Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater).
Following its life after the original Broadway production closed, the show embarked on several National Tours across America along with launching a company in London’s West End. International companies immediately followed.
The most recent revival of SPRING AWAKENING happened in 2015, It came off the success of a triumphant production that was performed by Deaf West Theatre in California for 2 sold out runs. It played Broadway’s Brooks Atkinson Theatre for a strictly limited engagement of 152 performances. This production was well known for having deaf actors and hearing actors come together which went with the whole theme of the show of young people letting their voices be heard. Under the direction of Michael Arden and choreography by Spencer Liff, the cast featured…
Sandra Mae Frank signing and Katie Boeck singing and acting the role of “Wendla”,
Austin P. McKenzie doing triple duty signing, singing, and acting as “Melchior”,
Daniel N. Durant signing and Alex Boniello singing and acting the role of “Mortiz”,
Krysta Rodriguez doing triple duty of signing, singing, and acting as “Ilse” (a role she understudied in the original cast of the original production),
Oscar winner Marlee Matlin signing and Camryn Manheim acting the role of “The Adult Woman”,
Russell Harvard signing and Tony nominee Patrick Page acting the role as “The Adult Man”,
Alex Wyse double triple duty signing, singing, and acting as “Georg”,
Andy Mientus doing triple duty signing, singing, and acting the role of “Hanschen” (a role he originated on the 1st National Tour of the original production),
Joshua Castille signing and Daniel David Stewart singing and acting the role of “Ernest”,
Miles Barbee signing and Sean Grandillo singing and acting the role of “Otto”,
Treshelle M. Edmond signing and Tony nominee this year Kathryn Gallagher singing and acting the role of “Martha”,
Tony winner Ali Stroker (who also made history as the first performer on Broadway in a wheelchair) doing triple duty signing, singing, and acting as “Anna”,
Amelia Hensley doing triple duty signing, singing, and acting as “Thea”,
and more.
This revival was nominated for 3 Tony Awards including BEST REVIVAL OF A MUSICAL but lost all the categories.
Most recently people got into the musical from the recent short-lived musical TV drama RISE which was inspired by a true story of a High School English teacher turned theater director who attempts to put on a production of the musical while facing intense resistance from members of the community (including parents of cast members that consider the material inappropriate). For those who may not know the musical, SPRING AWAKENING features some scenes featuring Profanity, Adult Content, Gay romance, Violence, and a sex scene at the end of Act 1 and Opening of Act 2 where the 2 leads “Wendla” go partially nude on stage.
Today, SPRING AWAKENING is a popular musical still today being performed in schools, community, and regional theatres everywhere.
Doesn’t this musical make you wanna break free, rock out, and scream at the world?!!!
Mike Haber
Author: Mike Haber

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