It’s so totally easy to call “Spring Awakening” a new rock musical phenomenon that channels the scandalous no-no issues facing today’s teens, such as sexual freedom, incest, teen depression and suicide.
It’s all that for sure. But it’s mind-blowing to think that “Spring Awakening” sprung from a play written in 1891. Do the math — that was 117 years ago.
The play was Frank Wedekind’s first major work and was banned and performed only in censored versions.
At the Paramount Theatre, the bold and powerful “Spring Awakening” is unleashed on stage until Sunday. It has been a must-see for youth because it so brutally bares teens’ fantasies and fears and, quite frankly, feels like just about every other day at high school, when we wore our angst constantly like our favorite denim jacket.
But no way should “Spring Awakening” be a musical wasted on the youth. Parents should take a seat to be reminded of the devastating effect our decisions can have on our children.
“Spring Awakening” brandishes the downright dumbness parents possess. Here, we’re also reminded of youth’s perception of adults, who are symbolized with a harsh sameness as all the adult roles are played by one man and one woman (Henry Stram and Angela Reed).
But enough of this high-brow blah blah blah. Let’s talk about the music. It’s wildly terrific. It’s no wonder Steven Sater won the 2007 Tony Awards for best book and best score and Duncan Sheik scored a Grammy in 2008 for best musical show album.
The rockin’ number “The Bitch of Living” is the themed money song. The fun “My Junk” just pops. “Touch Me” and “Don’t Do Sadness” are two beautiful ballads. And then the perfect line, “There’s a moment you know you are f*****” introduces the youth anthem “Totally F*****,” which proves that sometimes a curse really is the best way to go.
“Spring Awakening” is told through the lives of three teens. Those actors deserve a shout-out for their standout performances. Bearing the wild-haired look of Lyle Lovett and some amazing lungs, Blake Bashoff played Moritz; Kyle Riabko, who has toured with John Mayer, played the thoughtful and mature Melchior and Christy Altomare was Wendla.