Behind the Teen Turbulence of Spring Awakening, Duncan Sheik Sneaks Into the Band

News   Behind the Teen Turbulence of Spring Awakening, Duncan Sheik Sneaks Into the Band Duncan Sheik has been getting in on his own act.

Duncan Sheik
Duncan Sheik

The pop singer-songwriter reports on his blog that on occasion he may be stepping in as guitarist in the band of his new musical, Spring Awakening, Off-Broadway. A May 18 posting at www.duncansheik.com/blog reads: "The show looks amazing so I hope to see some of you guys there in the next few weeks. I'll probably be playing guitar for the show on the 23rd, 24th, 30th and 31st of this month. (Even though they keep trying to kick me out of the band!)."

A spokesperson for the Atlantic Theater Company production confirmed that Sheik's participation would be to cover a musician who has a previous commitment, but there is no set schedule and Sheik is not a featured part of the show. The band is on stage, but not involved in the main action action. No official announcement about his future appearances with the band is expected. Sheik has regional concert bookings in the coming weeks.

Sheik composed the music, Steven Sater penned book and lyrics and Michael Mayer directs the world premiere, based on the scandalous 1890s play The Awakening of Spring by Frank Wedekind. The work explores the lives of troubled teens struggling with their sexuality and their places in the world.

Performances began May 19. Sheik composed music and wrote songs for the feature film, "A Home at the End of the World," which was Mayer's debut as a film director. Mayer won the Drama Desk for direction for Side Man and also directed Broadway's Thoroughly Modern Millie (Tony nomination), 'night, Mother, After the Fall, Triumph of Love, Uncle Vanya, An Almost Holy Picture, A View From the Bridge (Tony nomination) and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Tony nomination).

Grammy Award nominee Sheik's albums include "Duncan Sheik" (Atlantic Records, 1996), which became a certified Gold Record; "Humming" (Atlantic, 1998); "Phantom Moon" (Nonesuch Records, 2001); "Daylight" (Atlantic Records, 2002); and "White Limousine" (January, 2006). He was Grammy Award nominated in 1997 in the category of Best Male Vocal.

Sheik composed original music for the Public Theater's 2002 Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night.

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Choreography for Spring Awakening is by Bill T. Jones (The Seven).

Opening is June 15 at ATC's West 20th Street home in Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood. The limited engagement plays through July 9.

The cast includes Tony winner Frank Wood (Side Man, Hollywood Arms), Mary McCann (The Old Neighborhood, Atlantic's The Night Heron), Skylar Astin, Lilli Cooper, John Gallagher Jr. (Rabbit Hole), Gideon Glick, Jonathan Groff (In My Life), Brian Johnson, Lea Michele (Fiddler on the Roof), Lauren Pritchard, Phoebe Strole, Jonathan B. Wright, Remy Zaken.

According to Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater Company, "Based on Frank Wedekind's masterpiece The Awakening of Spring, Spring Awakening is the contemporary musical adaptation of one of literature's most controversial plays. [It] boldly depicts a dozen young people and how they make their way through the thrilling, complicated, confusing and mysterious time of their sexual awakening. Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's score features songs that illuminate the urgency of adolescent self-discovery, the burning intensity of teen friendships and the innate suspicion of the uncomprehending adult world. The story centers around a brilliant young student named Melchior (Groff), his troubled friend Moritz (Gallagher Jr.) and Wendla (Michele), a beautiful young girl on the verge of womanhood."

Spring Awakening will play Tuesday through Friday at 8 PM, Saturday at 2 PM & 8 PM and Sundays at 3 PM. There will be no matinee performance on May 20. There will be an added performance 7:30 PM performance May 21.

All tickets are $60 and available by calling Telecharge at (212) 239-6200 or visiting Telecharge.com. For groups, call (212) 691-5919, ext. 1092.

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At every performances there will be 18 seats on sale for $10 each. Those seats are located on stage "mingled in among the actors." Tickets may be reserved in advance by calling (646) 216-1119 or may be purchased at the box office (336 West 20th Street) two hours prior to curtain.

For more information, visit www.atlantictheater.org.

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