Sunday, May 9, 2010

There are musicals that get famous because of how grand the production is. From the set design to the costumes, props and even the choreography, it is easy to get lost at how colorful the stage looks like and deem such theater production as superb.

Then there are musicals that gain recognition because of the quality of the story, the brilliance of the music and the greatness of the actors portraying exquisitely the complexity of the characters. It doesn't matter if the set is comprised of a couple of chairs, a desk, a raising platform at a fog machine and nothing more. All these superficial things are overshadowed by the story and the performance anyways.
Spring Awakening is a rock musical adaptation of the controversial 1891 German play of the same title by Frank Wedekind. It features music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater. Set in late-nineteenth century Germany, it concerns teenagers who are discovering the inner and outer tumult of sexuality. The original play was banned in Germany, for about a century, due to its portrayal of masturbation, abortion, homosexuality, rape, bondage, child abuse and suicide. In the musical, alternative rock is employed as part of the folk-infused rock score. Spring Awakening received eleven 2007 Tony Award nominations, winning eight, including Tonys for best musical, direction, book, score and featured actor. The show also won four Drama Desk Awards, while its London production won four Olivier Awards.

The original cast starred Lea Michelle of GLEE and Jonathan Groff who is also guest starring in the said show at the later part of Season 1. The most wonderful aspect of the show is that it centers on such taboo subjects and yet delivers the truth and the story in an entertaining yet sincere way. The theme, dialogue and songs are explicit but not at all vulgar.

Although there was a Philippine production of the musical a few months ago, I got to watch it in of all places. Yay for whoever got the guts to record the whole show via a hidden camera. Honestly, this is one of the instances where I adore blatant piracy.

For those looking for the Spring Awakening (Original Cast Recording) Album, look no more. Once again, I searched the cyber world for a download link and have found a jewel.



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