Singing about what it is like to be different
Spring Awakening: The Musical hit all the right notes, both literally and figuratively. From the talented actors to the musicality of this unconventional musical. It is currently presented at the Centaur Theater as part of the Brave New Looks program. Christopher Moore and Gabrielle Soskin directed this adaption of the 2006 Tony Award winning musical based on the play by Frank Wedekind first premiered in 1906.
Spring Awakening: The Musical is a coming-of-age story in the shadows of a late nineteenth century German society that squeezes life out of the living. Two young friends, Melchior and Moritz, are faced with the pressures of becoming men, while Wendla and her friends navigate a world ruled by dangerous men and impulsive boys. Melchior and Wendla are grabbed by youthful love, while Melchior finds himself trapped in the confusion of growing up. Mistakes are made and decisions are taken, changing the lives of both the young and the old forever. The play deals with issues that were censored from public discourse in the past and are often scarcely tackled in an intelligible way in modern society, such as homosexuality, teenage sexuality and physical abuse. Although this material can be difficult to watch and will surely incite strong emotional reactions, Spring Awakening: The Musical talks about issues that are relevant to an inter-generational and widely diverse Montreal population.
Persephone’s revamped production takes this classic musical to new heights. The live music, the interplay of the lights, the energy of the cast, everything in this show makes you want to see it again. The audience can unmistakably feel the collaborative spirit of the ensemble throughout the play. Each actor can take us from sadness to hilarity in a heartbeat. Having seen the play before with almost the same cast, it was refreshing to see that the show was not at all a recycling of past success. This version was a huge development on an already strong foundation. Actors seemed really comfortable in their characters and the stories, lending a remarkable authenticity to the performance.
This is an excellent play for students of all ages and walks of life, particularly in our day and age. The play makes it easy for everyone to identify with the young souls seeking to understand the world around them, to feel love, to live life, to leave their mark. This musical leaves you with a feeling of hope for the future, a whole lot of relief from expelling welled-up emotions and a belly full of laughter for all the comedic genius behind what these young actors craft on the stage.
Spring Awakening: The Musical runs until Oct. 11 at the Centaur Theatre. Regular tickets are $35, student/senior tickets are $27. For more information, call 514-288-1229 or visit centaurtheatre.com.