Posted by: duketower | February 23, 2010

“Spring Awakening” Broadway Show on Tour Comes to the DPAC

Spring Awakening Comes to Durham and the DPAC

“Spring Awakening”, a winner of 8 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, comes to the Durham Performing Arts Center, March 2-7, 2010.

We welcome the cast and crew to Durham and the DPAC. And we welcome all out-of-town show-goers to stay at Duke Tower Hotel & Condominiums. We are less than one mile from the DPAC, with many excellent restaurants nearby. We will offering our usual free shuttle service to and from the DPAC for all of our guests. We will even drop you off at a restaurant, pick you up after your meal and take you to the show.

“Spring Awakening” is the groundbreaking fusion of morality, sexuality and rock & roll that has awakened Broadway like no other musical in years.  “Spring Awakening” celebrates the unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood with a power, a poignancy and a passion you will never forget.

Teenage Angst

“Haunting and electrifying. This brave new musical has a shivery sensual allure unmatched by anything in the theater right now,”  wrote Charles Isherwood in The New York Times.

Note: Parental Discretion is advised. Mature content, including brief partial nudity, sexual situations, and strong language.

Here are some excerpts from a review of Spring Awakening on tour from the Fort Myers, Florida, News-Press:

When I saw “Spring Awakening” on Broadway in 2007, before it won eight Tony Awards, I immediately wanted to see it again. The passion of the performers, the raw emotional power of the story, the accessibility of the music were like nothing I’d ever seen on a theatrical stage.

Because of its frank sexual content and offbeat juxtaposition of 19th century German characters with modern music and choreography, it seemed a long shot for touring. I figured I’d never get a chance to see it again.

Thankfully, I was wrong.

The New York Times named “Spring Awakening” one of the most significant musicals of the last decade, and the magic is intact in the touring production. The performances are as engaging, the staging as energetic as the acclaimed original.

To be sure, it is not for everyone, as evidenced by a noticeable stream of older theatergoers leaving during intermission at Tuesday’s opening night. “Spring Awakening” is not a traditional, upbeat musical comedy. It’s more truthful, earnest and relevant than anything theatergoers are accustomed to.

“Spring Awakening” is more like a rock concert entwined with a deeply moving story about teens experiencing the wonder of sexual awakening, the pain of lost innocence and the weight of social pressure. Their parents, meanwhile, can’t bring themselves to help their confused offspring.

Winner of the Tony Award for "Best Musical"

“Mama who bore me,” a young girl sings in the opening number. “Mama who gave me …No way to handle things … Who made me so sad.”

The plot and themes are as timely now as they were when the original play was written in 1891. “Spring Awakening” is alternately funny and tragically dark but never less than enthralling.

Creators Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater invented an unlikely but effective idea to bridge time. The characters break out of their period-based scenes to sing rock and folk songs that express their inner turmoil with an intensity that reflects the heightened emotions of adolescence. Rock music has always served as such an outlet, so the show’s structural concept actually seems more natural than most Broadway musicals.

The ringleader among the teens is Melchior, played charismatically by Jake Epstein. He’s a rebel who challenges conformity and enlightens his peers about the mechanics and pleasures of physical love. Epstein is equally adept at singing tender ballads like “Left Behind” and wildly energetic rockers like “Totally F—ed” (which earned the longest round of applause on opening night).

Melchior initiates a willing paramour in Wendla, played with a complex mixture of innocence and curiosity by Christy Altomare. She possesses a remarkably sweet, expressive soprano in a role indelibly originated by Lea Michelle, the actress now starring on Fox’s hit musical-comedy, “Glee.”

Taylor Trensch also creates a memorable presence as Moritz, a boy tortured by self-doubt and failure. Trensch’s clenched physicality and impassioned singing express the character’s intense vulnerability.

With its simple but versatile brick-wall set, “Spring Awakening” doesn’t boast the dazzling effects of a show like last season’s blockbuster “Wicked.” But its energy and honesty resonate more powerfully than anything seen here in a long time.

We welcome “Spring Awakening” to Durham and the DPAC. We look forward to a successful stay in Durham for this exciting and groundbreaking musical.


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