Spring Awakening at the Fisher Theatre, April 20 – May 9, 2010
Just for a minute, forget about Broadway, the eight Tony Awards, the controversial-but-compelling story, and the exuberant dancing that all dominate conversations about Spring Awakening. Or just admit that they’re all wonderful, and move on. Because sometime during the Detroit premiere last night, we realized that if the smokin’ band and gifted cast just stood there and performed that glorious music in concert, we’d still have left pretty darn happy. Everything else was a bonus.
Based on the infamous 1891 Frank Wedekind play, the book and lyrics for Spring Awakening won Steven Sater a matched pair of Tony Awards for Best Book and Best Score. The sometimes funny, always intriguing lyrics are electrified by Sater’s creative partner — singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik, who composed the music over a period of eight years. Sheik may be best known to the public for his song ‘Barely Breathing,’ which topped the pop charts in 1997 and earned him a Grammy nomination for Best Male Pop Vocalist.
Articles published here earlier in the week discussed the merits of seeing this show with one’s favorite teenager. If you’re not ready for that bold step, consider sharing the cast recording. Yes, they drop the F-bomb. In fact, they not only drop it, but drop-kick it to new heights as a teenage-angst anthem in Act II. But if your teen is mature enough to understand the context of the lyrics, this may be the rare CD you can both agree to listen to in the car on the way up north some weekend.
And regardless of whether you want to take a teen, your grandma, or just sneak out by yourself, Spring Awakening is a guilty pleasure worth indulging. If the standing ovation from the opening-night audience was any indication, more than a few people will go back and see it (or just hear it) again.
Ticket prices for the Detroit engagement of Spring Awakening range from $24.00-$79.00 (inclusive of parking and facility fees) and are now on sale at the Fisher Theatre box office and all Ticketmaster locations. Tickets are also available for purchase online or by calling Ticketmaster at 1-800-982-2787.
Detroit Gearhead Alert — The Detroit engagement of Spring Awakening is sponsored by the Southeastern Michigan Lincoln Mercury dealers; we were happy to check out the 2011 Lincoln MKX in the theatre lobby. Nice.