Sunday November 19th 2017

“Spring Awakening”

Self Discovery! Every teenager reaches a point in their life as they hit puberty when they start “coming of age”. For many, this is an anxious time as they  are not sure what is happening- dreams, fantasies, fears and unexplained feelings. We have all been there! In “Spring Awakening”, Broadway In Chicago’s offering at The Ford Center for Performing Arts, Oriental Theatre, we are able to watch a group of youngsters experience their coming of age. Based on a 19th Century German play by Frank Wedekind, with a book and lyrics by Steven Slater and music by Duncan Sheik, we are transmitted back in time to a provincial town in Germany in the 1890’s. In this Rock Musical ( although much softer than some of the truly loud stuff being written of late) our cast of students are navigating through  anxieties of all types; relationships with their parents and teachers as well as their new sexuality and feelings towards others. This is an award winning musical with a great combination of musical types- typical rock and some wonderful ballads presented in an unusual manner. While each cast member is miked, when it is time to sing a solo, a hand mike appears from out of their clothing or a convenient spot on the set, which almost appears as if they are stepping out of the story to sing their song and then, upon completion, they go back to the story. or some, this may be a distraction, but under the direction of Lucy Skilbeck and choreography of JoAnn M. Hunter ( who are recreating the original work, but on different stages as this show tours the U.S.) it all works. One must focus on the talented cast and the wonderful music and the rest will take care of itself.

These teens deal with failure, masturbation, homosexuality, unwanted teenage pregnancy, suicide and abortion, so this is for mature audiences only. There is strong language ( one of the songs in the second act will astound you and yet it works!), sexual situations, so if these things bother you in a live theater situation, this is not for you!  These characters are real in that we know what they are experiencing is real! We care about them and that is what makes this such a powerful production.One of the unusual aspects of the seating for this production is the on-stage seating available.These are chairs lined up on the sides- the same place where the actors sit when they are not in the scene and in fact perform from on some occasions. They will be in your face and you will be as close to the action as one can get!

The cast that is making this road trip is powerful- 11 teens, 5 ensemble members and two adults, a male ( Mark Poppleton) who plays all the adult male roles and one female (Sarah Kleeman) doing likewise with the adult female roles. The main characters Melchior ( Christopher wood is dynamite), Wendia ( the adorable Elizabeth Judd) ,Moritz ( deftly handled by Coby Getzug) and Ilse ( the lovely Courtney Markowitz) are all powerful actors and singers with great energy. Talk about energy and we have to applaud the entire cast, Aliya Bowles,Rachel Geisler, Erin Burniston ( who filled in for Emily Mest tonight), George E. Salazar,Devon Stone,Danile Plimpton, and Jim Hogan as well as ensemble members, Jamie Rea Billings,William J. Lewis, Michael Linden and Jeff Ostermueller.

“Spring Awakening” is only here through the 13th so you need to move quickly to have an entertainment experience unlike any other you have had. The performance schedule is:

Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m.,Fridays at 8 p.m.,Saturday at 2 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 and 7:30 p.m.

Tickets range from $27-$90 and can be purchased by visiting the box office for the Ford or any Broadway In Chicago box office, The BRoadway In Chicago Kiosk at Water Tower Place, The Broadway In Chicago Ticketline at 1-800-775-2000, at all Ticketmaster outlets or online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com

To learn more about the tour, visit www.springawakeningontour.com

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