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"SPRING AWAKENING"--A THEATRE REVIEW

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In 1891 Frank Wedekind wrote a play about teenagers facing the same questions about sex that teeagers are still exploring 155 years later only now it is presented as a Tony Award winning Best musical called “Spring Awakening”.

In the opening scene we meet Wendla (Stephanny Noria) going through puberty looking to her mother to find out how babies are made only to be told that ‘storks bring them’. We meet her girlfriends like Martha (Christina Flores) who is being physically abused by her father as was Llse (Jessica Brooke Sanford) whose parents kicked her out of the house.

Among the boys we meet Moritz (Cameron Jordan) who is mentally and verbally abused by his father and escapes into exotic dreams not exactly understanding what they mean until Melchior (Bobby Cassell) writes an essay with illustrations explaining it to him.

The main themes running through “Spring Awakening” are that all teenagers have in common the need to be intimate with someone and the lack of sexual knowledge to explore what that means.

The musical deals with such subjects as abortion, teenage pregnancy, male masturbation, homosexuality, suicide plus physical, mental and verbal abuse making it pretty dark, though now and then a little humor is thrown in as when a young boy lusts after his piano teacher.

Of the many forceful, emotional songs with lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik “Don’t Do Sadness” sung by Jordan is a standout. The cast of 15, plus a band of 7, are all strong making “Spring Awakening” a moving evening in the theatre.



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