What do you get when you add alternative rock music to a controversial 1891 German play? In the case of Spring Awakening, which injected Duncan Sheiks score and Steven Saters lyrics into Frank Wedekinds original script, you get eleven Tony Award nominations and eight awards, including top honors for Best Musical. You also get a real culture clash.
The show takes place in a provincial German town in a repressive society, and they're wearing the outfits from that time, except that some of them have Mohawks, or they're wearing Chuck Taylor shoes," explains Genevieve Miller of Center Attractions, which is presenting Spring Awakening at the Buell Theatre, in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. The rock score is a stark contrast to the setting, but the central issue of teenage sexual discovery is universal. "These are really heavy topics," says Miller, adding that the production "truly talks about these issues and promotes dialogue between people, because you see the problems that arise when people aren't allowed to talk to each other about their feelings."
The national tour of Spring Awakening, which wrapped up a run of almost 900 shows on Broadway earlier this year, begins a two-week run at the Buell tonight at 8 p.m. The show contains mature themes, sexual situations and strong language; as a result, a parents' guide, as well as a note from Randy Weeks, executive director of Denver Center Attractions, is posted online at www.denvercenter.org. You can find schedule and ticket information on the website, too, or call 303-893-4100.
Tuesdays-Fridays, 8 p.m.; Saturdays, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Dec. 1. Continues through Dec. 13, 2009