This week, the powers that be have sent me to work at The Eugene O'Neill Theater where Spring Awakening is in previews. Spring Awakening is a musical based on a stage play from the 1890's. The music was written by Duncan Sheik and works well with the book written by Steven Sater.
The original play, which takes place in Germany, was written 1891 and concerns the audience with the affairs of teenagers discovering puberty. It was so controversial at the time, that it was banned from being shown in England. I guess it was banned for so long it was forgotten about until Steven Sater discovered it and decided to renew the story as a musical for which he enlisted the help of Duncan Sheik.
I'm not at all familiar with the original stage play by Frank Wedekind. But after watching the play last night, I could see why it was banned. The play offers a very frank discussion of what happens when teenagers discover sex. It's a tragedy. Two of the characters lives are ruined by their innocent sexual encounter because their parents were too ashamed to explain the consequences of intercourse before marriage.
I enjoyed watching this show. Every one talks like it's the 1890's but all the music is written in a contemporary rock style. And boy does it work well.
The costumes are great. The staging is great. The production design is great overall.
And the people in the show are talented and brilliant.