Spring Awakening is an exciting piece of contemporary theatre. Adapted into a musical from a controversial, often-censored 19th-century German play of the same name, it is arguably one of the great new musicals of the 21st century. Becca Guilderson is excellent as Wendla, a young girl learning about sex in all the wrong ways. As is Brandon Lorimer in the role of Hanschen, a young gay man who finds power in working the system. There are some brilliant moments of staging–the characters literally leave marks on one another’s bodies through the show, as they navigate the perils of sex and death, only to wash them off in a cathartic final number–but these are marred by many awkward transitions and uneven pacing. Side-by-Side Productions’ staging has moments that truly shine, but struggles to find the energy that is central to the script’s polemic.
Side-by-Side Productions Spring Awakening Books and lyrics by Steven Sater Music by Duncan Sheik Based on the play by Frank Wedekind Directed by Jason Watt Musical Direction by Carolyn Curry The Bus Stop Theatre, 2203 Gottingen Street October 25–30, $10-$15 Facebook link HERE