Reviews East Lansing, MI !

Below are the reviews for Spring Awakening in East Lansing.

Lansing State Journal

Edgy 'Spring' musical is courageous and inspired

Ken Glickman

February 26, 2009

All you lovers of Broadway musicals: Watch out, you've never seen anything like this.

"Spring Awakening," the national touring company onstage at Michigan State's Wharton Center until Sunday, breaks all the musical stereotypes by dealing with issues such as teen suicide, masturbation, abortion, sex, child abuse, and homosexuality - and does so with sensitivity and beauty.

This Tony award-winning show takes place in Germany in 1891. The costumes are dour for the girls and dorky for boys. The set consists of 40-foot high brick walls - signifying the repressive world the characters live in and the interior of a German school for boys.

Everyone is on stage - the entire cast, portions of the audience and the band. Another name for this show could be "Raging Hormones." The boys (age 14 or so) are discovering their sexuality, and the girls are trying to figure out it how all works. The parents won't breathe a word of the truth to them.

The sensitive subject matter is handled with honesty and humor, but not like the goofy sexual movies that have been popular lately. The music is lyrical and interesting and not nearly as rock-oriented as advertised - and it's fun to watch the musicians on stage interacting with the entire production. The voices are beautiful, and the ensemble singing, especially at the end, is spectacular.

Last year, some local theatergoers were worried about potty- mouthed puppets and puppets having sex in "Avenue Q." For this show, there is quite an explicit sex scene on stage (with real people!) and the F-word is used very liberally in one song. Yes, it's a bit shocking, but the production is so well done (with stunning use of lighting), and the direction (Michael Mayer) is so brilliant, that it all makes sense to the story.

Everything about "Spring Awakening" is fresh and creative. Bill T. Jones's choreography is jaw- dropping. The jerky movements and high-intensity style wonderfully telegraph the anxieties of young men and women. The stars (Blake Bashoff, Kyle Riabko, Christy Altomare and more) are all excellent, but it's the ensemble and the production that really counts here.

"Spring Awakening" is not for everyone, but it is courageous and inspired. Give it a try.


City Pulse

Pleasant 'Awakening'

Bold story, Sheik songs drive daring musical

by Paul Wozniak

Wednesday, February 25,2009

Most contemporary Broadway musicals play to their niche audience, but that audience may finally have a chance to grow with “Spring Awakening,” a musical that bridges the great divide between indie rock and Broadway. There are still enough melodramatic moments and big numbers to keep Broadway fans in their seats, but the music has changed dramatically, and it is good.

Based on the still-controversial late 19th-century German play of the same name by Frank Wedekind, the show features music by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater, which blend harmoniously with the themes of forbidden fruit, sexual education and oppressive parenting. “Spring Awakening” feels perfectly tailored for the teens who loved “Twilight” in a decade that has simultaneously stretched progressive policies while breeding a new generation of strict conservatism. Despite the ongoing battle to keep sex sinful and taboo for conversation, the adolescents of this play sing out, dreaming of a future where parents understand and educate young ones about their budding hormones instead of punishing them for feeling.

Christy Altomare stars as Wendla, a na├»ve girl raised on stories of storks. She falls in love with Melchior (Kyle Riabko), a lad with superior intellect and a willingness to question authority. Melchior is also influential to Moritz (Blake Bashoff), a burnout whose wet dreams sponge his concentration away from school. The sexual tension between Wendla and Melchior is plucked and bowed like a well-tuned string, driving the show’s pulse as much as the first act’s rock songs. Altomare, Riabko and Bashoff all have great solo voices that blend with the ensemble just as well.

The rest of the cast members also do well developing their characters, even when they play more than one.

Bill T. Jones’ choreography is creative and sensual, cracking sparks as the friction heats up between the young pupils and their adult guardians. The lighting design by Kevin Adams goes far beyond spotlights, and Christine Jones’ set keeps the cast onstage at all times, while creating movable layers for key emotional scenes.

Only the final song, a full ensemble piece that works to lighten the mood after a dark but hopeful scene, reminds the audience that the musical formula is still in place. Everything else is funny and stirring and moves quickly, even for the more than two-hour running time. While Broadway may seem an unusual place for relevant, classic dramas to meet indie-rock songsters, hopefully “Spring Awakening” is the start of a trend and not the height of the genre."


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to let everyone know how impressed my friends and I were with the E. Lansing production of Spring Awakening. I saw it last December for my first time, when Blake Bashoff first joined the cast, and never thought that the broadway production would be topped.

I stand corrected.

My friends and I had onstage seating. Pleasantly surprised to get a free back stage tour while entering and exiting the stage, everyone in my group was impressed even before the show began. After it started though, the tidal wave of overwhelming emotion that is Spring Awakening hit us and washed us all with a sense of amazement that I will never forget. To top it all off, afterward the cast came to the stage door and fought the bitter Michigan winter to meet and greet every person who waited, and did not leave until every person was satisfied.

I have left E. Lansing realizing that this was the best performance of any type I have ever seen and the most talented group of admirable artists I have ever met.

My trip to see Spring Awakening was originally planned to celebrate my friend Aunnica's birthday, but ended up being so much more than that. Thanks for giving her "the best birthday present" she has ever received, and one of the best afternoons of my life.

-Ryan Burdick =)

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10/06/09 - 10/11/09
Uihlein Hall Marcus Center For The Performing Arts
929 North Water Street, Milwaukee, WI

10/13/09 - 10/18/09
Music Hall
301 West 13th Street, Kansas City, MO
Non-subscription tickets on sale Sept 5, 2009 (subj to change)

10/20/09 - 10/25/09
Bass Hall
23rd St & Robert Dedman Drive, Austin, TX
(512) 477-6060

10/28/09 - 11/01/09
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts/BroadwaySanJose

Nov 4-15, 2009
Sacramento Community Center,
1301 L Street, Sacramento, CA 95814

Nov 17-29, 2009
Orange County Performing Arts Center
600 Town Center Drive Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Ticketing number: 714.556.2787

Dec 1-13, 2009
The Buell Theatre
Denver Performing Arts Complex
14th and Curtis Streets Denver, CO 80204
Non-subscription tickets on sale: Mon, Oct 19, 2009 (web only Oct 18)
Ticketing Number: (800) 641-1222
Groups: 303-446-4829

Jan 5-10, 2010
Hershey Theatre
15 E. Caracas Ave, PO Box 395 Hershey, PA 17033
Non-Subscription Tickets on sale: Mon Aug 17, 2009
Groups: 717-534-3412

Jan 12-24, 2010
Aronoff Center
650 Walnut Street Cincinnati, OH 45202
Non-subscription Tickets go on sale: Nov 2009
Ticketing (not avail until 11/9) 800.982.2787

Jan 26-31, 2010
Barbara B. Mann Performing Arts Hall
8099 College Parkway, SW Fort Myers, FL 33919
Non-subscription Tickets on sale: Sept 1, 2009 (Tentative)
Ticketing number: 800-440-7469
Groups: 239-489-3033, x 3122

Feb 2-Feb 7, 2010
Belk Theatre, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center
130 N. Tryon St. Charlotte, NC
Group Tickets: (704) 379-1380
Ticketing number: (704) 372-1000

Feb 9-14, 2010
Auditorium Theatre, Rochester Broadway League
885 E. Main Street Rochester, NY 14605
Ticketing Number: 800-745-3000

February 23-28, 2010
Bushnell Performing Arts Center

MARCH 2-7, 2009
DPAC, Durham Performing Arts Center
Ticketing: 919-680-2787
Groups: 919-281-0587

March 9-14, 2010
Fabulous Fox Theatre
660 Peachtree Street NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30308
Call Ticketmaster at (404) 817-8700

March 16-21, 2010
The Peace Center
300 S. Main Street Greenville, SC 29601
Ticketing Number: 800-888-7768
Groups: 864-679-9201

March 23 - April 4, 2010
Dallas Center for the Performing Arts
2100 Ross Avenue, Suite 650 Dallas, Texas 75201
Box Office: 214.880.0202

April 20-May 9, 2010
3011 W. Grand Boulevard Detroit, MI 48202
Ticketing number: 800-982-2787
Group Tickets: 313-871-1132

May 11-16, 2010
Arsht Center
Box Office: 305.949.6722

May 18-23, 2010
Carr Performing Arts Center
401 West Livingston Street Orlando, FL 32801

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I send fan mail to the cast?

If you just want to send a quick note to all the cast members telling them you appreciate their work, you can email us here at totallytruckedblog (at) gmail (dot) com. I will be happy to forward your email to the cast, but to preserve their privacy, it is unlikely they will email you back (I will, though).

You can also send individual performers fan mail and care packages care of the theatre at which we are currently performing or will be performing. Go to the theatre's website (listed above), find their mailing address, write the actor's name as well as "Spring Awakening" and send c/o the theatre. Remember, we are often at these theatres for only a week so make sure to allow for delivery times. It's a better bet to send it to the theatre we will be going to next as they can always hold packages for us until we arrive. Letters received late will not be forwarded to our next location.

2. How Can I Audition for Spring Awakening?
From time to time, we have open calls in larger cities across the US. We will post any additional open calls here. Subscribe if you havn't already to keep informed. In the meantime, we've made it easy for you to submit yourself singing a folk/alternative rock song on video. Go to: http://www.springawakening.com/videoauditionsubmission/ Make sure your submission is less than 500 MB and is one of the accepted formats. Your screen should change and you should get a confirmation that says your submission has been received. Trust us, people are called in this way. Lucas Wells was cast because of an online submission!

3. How Do I Score On Stage Seats?
That is really up to the individual theatres. Most of them won't release the seats until just before performances because they want to make sure the house is sold first. Some do so online, although the ticketing systems they have in place often can't accommodate our unique seats onstage. Most of them are available only at the box office (though you can purchase them for a performance in the future). The Guilty Ones Street Team members have the rights to purchase these seats before the general public. Any seats left over will be released to the box office and may also be purchased as part of rush tickets (discounted, day-of tickets).

4. How Do I Join The Guilty Ones?

The National Guilty Ones Street Team is a way for fans of the show in each of our tour stops to help us spread the word. You will get access to parties, meet and greets, and other special events while meeting new friends who share your passion for the show, all while gaining some valuable marketing experience. You must be at least 15 yrs old. Email your contact info to nationalguiltyones (at) gmail (dot) com.

5. Can I Get Discounts?

From time to time, a theatre may offer us discounts to send out to our fans. We will post any here on the blog. Subscribe now!

6. Who runs this site? This site was created for fans to stay connected with our touring cast and follow their adventures around North America. Ideally, it would be in the voice of the cast members. Unfortunately, our cast members are often too tired or busy to post lengthy blog posts on a regular basis. Company members will contribute a post from time to time and every month we will have a compiled blog post that most every company member will participate in. The other stuff like updates, etc, will be posted by me. My name is Pun. I work for the production, love this show, its cast, and our fans, and I'm so very glad you're here!

Co 231 W 39th Street Suite 1200 New York, N.Y. 10018.

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