Last night I was blown away by Broadway's newest sensation, Spring Awakening. Critics are referring to it as "the next Rent", due to its combining a cast of young people with an incredible rock score by Duncan Sheik (recall "I am barely breathing.. and I can't find the air.. Don't know who I'm kidding...imagining you're-") Ok, you remember who he is now.
Apparently, "Spring Awakening" has been around forever. It was written well over a century ago in Germany, and was often censored due to it's scandalous stagings. FYI: The term Spring Awakening refers to the period of emotional and sexual arousal that occurs in teenagers, and the young cast certainly held nothing back in their performances. The big difference from "Rent", though, is that this play still took place in historical Germany. It stuck to the original dialogue and costuming, but used the music and staging to relate it to the present.
And of course, I have my favorite. Probably because he is already a rock musician, John Gallagher, Jr. commanded the stage as Moritz, a sort of wired, off-balance misfit. I wish I could pinpoint exactly what was so watchable about his performance: he was nervous and awkward, and yet highly confident in everything he did.
"Spring Awakening" is 100% absolutely a must-see play. It is not "good for a laugh" or "had a good score". It's a brilliant combination of old and new, young and old, with every element thought out to perfection. The cast is insanely talented and deserves your audience! It's currently playing at "Sweeney Todd's" old haunt, The Eugene O'Neill Theater on 49th between Broadway and 8th Ave, so... watch it!