Photo: Stan Barouh
In 2006 Spring Awakening was the sensation of Broadway. The new rock musical featured catchy tunes by Duncan Sheik, a smart book and lyrics by Steven Sater, career launching performances from Lea Michele and John Gallagher, Jr. I still can’t get over the fact the original Mortiz is now Jim Harper on The Newsroom. The show dominated the Tony awards that year including a Best Musical win.
The show returns to the Washington, DC area over at the Olney Theatre Center in Maryland. The show rings true to its Broadway predecessor yet includes subtle touches from Director Steve Cosson that sets the show on its own.
The coming of age story of Wendla (Alyse Alan Louis) and Melchior (Matthew Kacergis), two school children in 19th century Germany who explore a number of topics including sexuality and religion was heavily censored as a play in 1906. 100 years later the story is still relevant in showing the consequences of a sexually-oppressive culture and opinions.
On the pages of Music Theatre International, the licensing and royalty agent for Spring Awakening, you see that the show is rolling out across the country after the national tour closed in May. You won’t likely see the show being performed at your local church basement anything soon however, upcoming dates of the show include regional theatres and colleges. You’ll have to settle for geeky college boys performing Bitch of Living on YouTube til then.
So how did a group of performers in Frederick, MD get the blessing to put on the show before every other amateur group in the country?
It’s all about who you know, and for Producer David Horch it was the Producer of the now-closed national tour. Horch was able to secure the rights to hold a number of performances in honor of Stephen A. Bomango, a leader in the local arts community who passed away in 2003. The proceeds from the performances of Spring Awakening will go towards the a scholarship fund in his name.