By SUE SUCHYTA
With an electrifying rock score and an edgy, timeless look at youth and rebellion, “Spring Awakening – the Musical” is a groundbreaking story with an emotional punch as teens cope with the tumultuous forces of sexual identity and longings.
The 2007 winner of eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, features music by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater. It is based on the 1891 German play “Spring Awakening” by Frank Wedekind.
The show runs at 7 p.m. July 22, 23, 29 and 30 at the Corner Playhouse, 12671 Dix Toledo Road, Southgate. The show contains adults themes and language, and is for mature audiences only.
Tickets are $15. For tickets or more information, call 734-282-4727 or go to scponstage.com.
Directed by Chris Rollet of Southgate, the cast includes Matthew Porter of Allen Park as Melchior; Dara Ann Pardon of Rockwood as Wendla; Adam Carey of Taylor as Moritz and Lara Keathley of Trenton as Ilsa.
Also in the cast are Ashley Blevins of Allen Park as Anna; Ben Apostle of Dearborn as Hanschen; Amanda Chatila of Dearborn Heights as Thea; and Brad Hardecki of Lincoln Park as Georg.
Also in the cast are Southgate residents Tamara Marla as Martha, Joshua Smith as Ernst and Logan Laflin as Otto; Patrick Reed of Trenton as the adult male; Sarah Noble of Wyandotte as Greta; and Kelly White of Brownstown Township as the adult female.
Noble said the show’s music, characters and heart struck an emotional chord with her years ago, and she has longed to perform in it.
“It spoke to me from the beginning,” she said. “It is a very intense musical that explores controversial issues of our time through the lens of a century long gone, and remains relevant and truthful and beautiful.”
Marla said that while the show is set in a bygone era, modern audiences relate to it.
“I love how the show has this classic coming-of-age feel, but then jumps in and out of contemporary music,” she said.
Marla said the relatively small cast has become close.
“It’s the kind of show that moves both the actors and the audience, because of the great material and subject matter of the show,” she said.
Chatila said the message and music in “Spring Awakening” are beautiful, even with its sad scenes.
“When explaining the show, I have a hard time getting past the depressing themes,” she said. “However, I promise this show will touch something deeper in them.”
Chatila said the show will resonate with anyone who has ever fallen in love with someone they shouldn’t or felt like they didn’t belong.
Noble said she tells people this is not a typical, lighthearted Broadway musical.
“No matter what the time period, the human experience remains constant,” Noble said. “That will ring true for audiences when they see this production. I am proud to be part of a show that is continuing to push the envelope.”
Apostle said while the show is set in a bygone era, the rock songs sung in the show make it relateable to the present day.
“The words of the songs seem to exist in a timeless limbo,” he said. “This helps the songs address issues that are still relevant today.”
He said his character is trying to come to terms with being gay and not knowing how to “come out” while trying to understand his feelings that he has been told he “should not have.”
Smith said adolescent sexual exploration during a time when even talking about it was considered taboo creates a story line that people will want to follow to its conclusion.
“The musical numbers are very entertaining and full of emotion,” he said.
Noble agreed that the musical numbers exist outside of the parameters of the 1890s, to which the dialogue and costumes are more closely tied.
“Characters express themselves through rock and folk-style music that transcends the era and extends a hand to modern-day audiences,” she said. “I hope audiences will join us in experiencing the powerful production that is ‘Spring Awakening.’”
OPEN BOOK THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES THIRD SEASON IN NEW LOCATION
The Open Book Theatre Company announces its third season as it renovates its new building at 1621 West Road in Trenton.
The five show season includes “Peter and the Starcatcher” Sept. 15 to Oct. 1; “Recent Tragic Events” Nov. 4 to 19; “Animals Out of Paper” Jan. 13 to 28, 2017; “Picasso at the Lapin Agile” March 10 to 25; and “Good People” May 12 to 27.
Season tickets are $85, with a $20 discount for students and seniors. For more information, call 735-288-7753 or go to openbooktheatrecompany.net.