The musical makes the jump from Off-Broadway’s Atlantic Theater Company, where it opened June 15 and enjoyed several extensions.
"I had absolute belief in the show as being something really important and beautiful and exciting and completely innovative," says the director, Michael Mayer. "But had you told me this would end up on Broadway, I would have said, 'You're out of your mind!'"
Spring Awakening — which features a score by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater — is based on Frank Wedekind's 1891 expressionist play, which was scandalous in its day for addressing sex, violence and suicide. Two actors play all the adult roles as an ensemble of young people strut, rant, wonder and wish as their characters search to understand the coming of age that they cannot avoid.
Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff head the cast as, respectively, teens Wendla and Melchior, who are drawn to each other in a world where parents, ministers and teachers create an atmosphere of shame, silence and ignorance.
Also returning in the roles they created Off-Broadway are Skylar Astin (Georg), Lilli Cooper (Martha), John Gallagher Jr. (Moritz), Gideon Glick (Ernst), Brian Johnson (Otto), Lauren Pritchard (Ilse), Phoebe Strole (Anna), Jonathan B. Wright (Hanschen) and Remy Zaken (Thea). New to the Broadway production, as the two adults, are Stephen Spinella and Christine Estabrook. The creative team also features choreographer Bill T. Jones, costume designer Susan Hilferty, set designer Christine Jones and lighting designer Kevin Adams.
As in the Off-Broadway production, audience members can sit onstage. The 25 seats run $31.25 each.
Decca will release the musical’s original Broadway cast recording on Dec. 12.