Spring Awakening, which exploded Frank Wedekind's 1891 play about adolescence and sexual awakening through an alt-rock score, took Best New Musical when the Olivier's were presented March 21 in London. The musical features a score by Tony and Grammy Award winner Duncan Sheik.
Spring Awakening co-creator Sater was on hand to accept the honor at London's Grosvenor House Hotel and told Playbill.com, "As I mentioned in my speech for the Olivier award, my dreams as a young writer were very much fed by the time I spent in London. Over the years of developing Spring Awakening, we often talked about doing the show there, and imagined (as one does) how well it might be received. When our planned New York production fell apart in 2002, we spent a couple of years trying hard to get the show on in London – and got nowhere.
"It was particularly gratifying finally to be able to get to work there," he continued. "And it was such a beautiful productions, such a brilliant, touching young cast, made up of performers from all over the UK, almost all of whom were making their professional debut. The show fared extremely well critically (ten or more five-star reviews) and was such a tremendous, sold-out success at the Lyric-Hammersmith. It was all that much more heartbreaking to see show come and go so quickly on the West End. I think somehow the older generation never realized that Spring Awakening was also for them. So yes, it was really great to be honored with this great award by the Society of London Theater."
The London production also earned Olivier Awards for Aneurin Barnard (Melchior), who was named Best Actor in a Musical and Iwan Rheon (Moritz), who took the Olivier for Best Supporting Performance in a Musical or Entertainment.
After earning eight Tony Awards on Broadway, Spring Awakening transferred to London's Lyric Hammersmith Jan. 23, 2009. The critically praised production, which reunited members of the original Broadway creative team, was extended several times and subsequently transferred to the West End's Novello Theatre March 21, 2009. The West End run would be short-lived and the musical shuttered May 30, 2009.
First staged at Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theater in 2006, Spring Awakening transferred to Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre, where it ran for two years and grossed over $50 million. The current U.S. tour will conclude in May and relaunch on the fall. By the end of 2009, productions will have opened in Japanese in Tokyo, Korean in Seoul and German in Vienna. Eighteen foreign productions are in preparation around the world along with a film to be directed by McG.