WAKE UP BROADWAY FANS! It’s just 20 days away till Broadway’s biggest night of the year, the 71st Annual Tony Awards. We have more toe tapping performances coming your way getting us entertained on our TOP 30 TONY AWARDS COUNTDOWN.
At # 20, we take you back in time to Germany in the early 19th century where teens are going through certain changes in their bodies and the adults never gave you the full details. This is of course…. Spring Awakening Broadway. Based on a 100 abandoned German play by Frank Wedekind, the musical features a score and book by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater.
From the 2007 telecast, Lea Michele as “Wendla”, 2 time Tony nominee Jonathan Groff as “Melchior”, Tony winner John Gallagher, and members of the original cast the original production perform a medley of 3 of the showstopping, high energy, and angry rock numbers MAMA WHO BORE ME, THE B**** OF LIVING, and TOTALLY F*****.
SPRING AWAKENING was originally conceived by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater initially in the late 90’s. They both received the writes to adapt Frank Wedekind’s provocative play into a pop/rock musical. It went through numerous stages of readings, workshops. and concert productions (including one 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 extensions, the show transferred to Broadway’s Eugene O’Neill Theatre that same year for a total of 888 performances. The show featured a young cast which became credited as their breakout show including…
Lea Michele (later Alexandra Socha) as “Wendla”,
Tony nominee Jonathan Groff (later Kyle Riabkoand Hunter Parrish) as “Melchior”,
Tony winner John Gallagher Jr. (later Blake Bashoff and Gerard Canonico) as “Moritz”,
acclaimed recording artist 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 Fleshler) as “The Adult Man”,
future Pitch Perfect favorite Skylar Astin (later Andrew Durand) as “Georg”,
Lilli Cooper (later Amanda Castanos) as “Martha”
Brian Charles Johnson (later Gabriel Violett) as “Otto”,
Jonathan B. Wright (later Matt Doyle) as “Hanschen”,
Pheobe Strole (later Emily Kinney) as “Anna”,
Gideon Glick (later Blake Daniel) as “Ernst”,
and Remy Zaken (later Caitlin Kinnunen) as “Thea”.
The show was nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2007 winning 8 including Best Musical.
SPRING AWAKENING went on to become a worldwide hit. The original production went on to produce 2 National Touring companies, a West End in London cast, and numerous productions around the world translated into almost every major language. The show would later be revived only once.
The most recent revival (as seen in this video) originally played in and produced by Deaf West Theatre for 2 years in California. Following the success of its run out there, the Deaf West production made it’s way to Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre for a strictly limited engagement of 152 performances. This revival 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. The cast featured…
Sandra Mae Frank signing and Katie Boeck voicing”Wendla”,
Austin P. McKenzie doing triple duty signing, singing, and acting as “Melchior”,
Daniel N Durant signing and Alex Boniello voicing” Mortiz”,
Krysta Rodriguez doing triple duty signing, singing, and acting as “Ilse” (a role she previously understudied in the original production on Broadway),
Oscar winner Marlee Matlin signing and Camryn Manheim voicing “The Adult Woman”,
Russell Harvard signing and Patrick Page voicing “The Adult Woman”,
Alex Wyse doing triple duty signing, singing, and acting as “Georg”,
Treshelle M. Edmond signing and Kathryn Gallagher voicing “Martha”,
Miles Barbee signing and Sean Grandillo voicing “Otto”,
Andy Mientus doing triple duty signing, singing, and acting as “Hanschen” (a role he previously originated on the 1st National Tour of the original production),
Ali Stroker who made history as the first actress ever to perform on Broadway 8 times a week in a wheelchair as “Anna”,
Joshua Castille signing and Daniel David Stewart voicing “Ernst”,
and Amelia Hensley doing triple duty signing, singing, and acting as “Thea”
This revival was nominated for 3 Tony Awards last year including Best Revival of a Musical but lost all the categories.
Most recently, SPRING AWAKENING was a big part of the short lived NBC musical drama Rise. The series was inspired by a true story about a High School Drama club (under the direction of an English teacher turned theater director) attempting to put on a high school production of SPRING AWAKENING. However, pressure is faced as the teacher intense resistance from members of the community (including parents of cast members) who consider the material inappropriate and provocative for teenagers. The reason so is that there are some intense scenes including onstage violence, sexual topic, a simulated sex scene (that most productions require partial nudity), Adult language, and more.
Productions of the musical are still happening worldwide including in schools, community, and regional theatres everywhere.
Doesn’t this musical make you wanna break free, rock out, and scream at the world?!!!
Spring Awakening performs at the 2007 Tony Awards
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