Rave reviews abound for "Spring Awakening," a high-energy musical that pairs Theater Latte Da's direction with U of MN students and Carl Fink's choreography.
Based on a play from 1891 by Frank Wedekind, the rock music adaptation garnered rave reviews on Broadway. But local critics say this new production surpasses the Broadway version that came to town in 2009.
David Darrow (Melchior) and the Boys in "Spring Awakening"
Here's a play that rings all my bells: Spring Awakening. Terrific story, excellent book, tasty music, superb direction, boffo performances. Here's one I can brag about.
Cat Brindisi (Wendla) and David Darrow (Melchior) in "Spring Awakening"
The company, a mix of local professionals and university students, bursts with energy at every turn, led by terrific turns from David Darrow, Cat Brindisi, and Tyler Michaels as the main trio. Director Peter Rothstein and choreographer Carl Fink present a piece that is overwhelming in its constant movement and energy -- so much so that you want to jump out of your seat and join in by the end of the show.
Grant Sorenson (Hanschen) and Jack Tillman (Ernst) in "Spring Awakening"
As urgent as "Awakening" felt on Broadway, its strength evaporated in the large Minneapolis Orpheum Theatre during a 2009 tour.
This is why Theater Latté Da's production at Rarig Center, in partnership with the University of Minnesota theatre and dance department, is so satisfying. It reclaims the intimacy of Frank Wedekind's 1891 play indicting authoritarian structures... "Spring Awakening" beautifully reminds us that every generation needs its voice.
David Darrow (Melchior) and the Company in "Spring Awakening"
Theater Latte Da's intimate "Spring Awakening" feels looser, more natural and much, much funnier [than the Broadway production]. Director Peter Rothstein and his talented cast effortlessly convey the "then and now" aspect of "Spring Awakening" by hanging onto the idea that, in far too many ways, then is now.
Spring Awakening runs through May 6 at the Rarig Center on the University of Minnesota campus. Note: the production contains nudity, strong language and adult situations.
Have you seen Spring Awakening? If so, what did you think? Share your review in the comments section.
All images courtesy of Michael Daniel Photography
I have seen Spring Awakening 3 times--Broadway, Orpheum and last night at the U of MN. The Latte Da production shed more light on the characters and the story than the other two productions. Loved the musical arrangements that Denis Prosek did, thought the cast was fantastic. It is the kind of show I will see more than once.