Two classic German plays are currently being revived in Paris. Frank Wedekind's Spring Awakening (L'Eveil du Printemps) and Bertolt Brecht's In the Jungle of Cities (Dans la Jungle des Villes) have opened recently, respectively at the Theatre de la Ville and the Theatre National de la Colline. Both have been adapted into French by the directors themselves.
Wedekind's Spring Awakening at the Theatre de la Ville is directed by Yves Beaunesne, who worked on the translation and adaptation with Renee Wentzig. The play, written in 1891, depicts the uncertainties, questions and fears of children entering puberty in a still repressive society. To accentuate the realism of Wedekind's play, Beaunesne has chosen young actors to perform the roles of the teenagers. Adding a modern touch, Beaunesne has set Wedekind's words to music by Francois Breant. A singer-guitarist performs on stage a few of the rock-style songs during the play.
Stephan Braunschweig's production of Brecht's In the Jungle of Cities also has a musician on stage, this time a pianist playing more conventional music (from Bach to Thelonious Monk). Set in Chicago in 1912, Brecht's play describes the decline of a family who comes to the city in hopes of a better life. Leading the cast are Olivier Cruveiller (George Garga), Philippe Clevenot (Shlink), Flore Lefebvre des Noettes (Marie Garga) and Catherine Vinatier (Jane Larry).
After its run at the Theatre National de la Colline, Braunschweig's production of Brecht's classic will tour for a few dates in Berlin (Hebbel Theater, Feb. 26 and 27) and in France - in Clermont-Ferrand (Mar. 26, 27 and 28) and Annecy (Apr. 1 and 2).
For tickets and information on L'Eveil du Printemps at the Theatre de la Ville, call 331 42 74 22 77. Runs until Jan. 31. For tickets and information on Dans la Jungle des Villes at the Theatre National de la Colline, call 331 44 62 52 52. Runs until Feb 22.
-- By Stephane Ly-Cuong