The Birds and the Bees

The plot of Spring Awakening, according to Keith Rabin Jr., artistic director at Ignite Theatre, stems from one big question: “What happens when parents do not explain sex to their kids?”

Specifically, what happens to Wendla, a young, inquisitive girl struggling to under-stand a changing body? And what happens to the studious (and more knowledgeable) Melchior, who loves her? In fact, each ensemble member has questions of his or her own, playing them out in the microcosm of small-town late-1800s Germany.

A deeply layered tragedy, the eight-time Tony-winning musical aims to bring audiences into the fold of a story fraught with clashing forces of love, lust, abuse, ignorance and silence. “People are going to come and not expect what Spring Awakening brings,” says Rabin. “For some people it will be a little uncomfortable, and for some people it will be very emotional and sexual.”

The alternative-rock-opera score was a driving factor in Rabin’s pursuit of the production rights to the show. “I’ve loved Spring Awakening since I first heard it,” he said. “I was living in New York back in 2006, and I fell in love with the music.” A full live band will accompany the performers.

The regional premiere of Spring Awakening debuts tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Aurora Fox, 9900 East Colfax Avenue, and runs on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through August 26; tickets are $25, or $18 for students. Visit www.ignitetheatre.com for more information.
Fridays, Saturdays, 7:30 p.m.; Sundays, 2:30 p.m.; Mon., Aug. 6, 7:30 p.m. Starts: Aug. 3. Continues through Aug. 26, 2012

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Shaughnessy Speirs