Without Them: Groff and Michele Exit Spring Awakening May 18

News   Without Them: Groff and Michele Exit Spring Awakening May 18 Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele play their final performances in the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Spring Awakening May 18 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.

Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele
Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Groff, who earned a 2007 Best Actor Tony nomination for his portrayal of Melchior in the emotionally charged musical, has been with the production since its Off-Broadway world premiere at the Atlantic Theater Company.

Michele has been involved with Spring Awakening since its inception. Participating in each workshop and reading of the musical, Michele created the role of Wendla Off-Broadway and repeated her work for the Broadway transfer.

In addition to Spring Awakening, Groff appeared in the short-lived Broadway musical In My Life as well as in touring and regional mountings of Fame, Bat Boy and The Sound of Music. Groff will star as Claude in the upcoming Shakespeare in the Park staging of Hair – a role he performed in last summer's 40th anniversary concert at the Delacorte.

On Broadway Michele has also appeared in Les Miserables, Ragtime and Fiddler on the Roof. Her additional stage appearances include Alive in the World and Diary of Anne Frank.

Canadian musician Kyle Riabko will succeed Groff as Melchior and Spring ensemble member Alexandra Socha – who currently understudies Michele – will graduate to that role. Socha will begin performances May 20, and Riabko will join the cast May 23. The Spring Awakening company also features Blake Bashoff (Moritz), Skylar Astin (Georg), Lilli Cooper (Martha), Blake Daniel (Ernst), Brian Charles Johnson (Otto), Emma Hunton (Ilse), Phoebe Strole (Anna), Matt Doyle (Hanschen), Remy Zaken (Thea), Christine Estabrook (Adult Women), Glenn Fleshler (Adult Men), Gerard Canonico, Alice Lee, Eryn Murman and Matt Shingledecker.

Based on the 1891 play by Frank Wedekind, Spring Awakening won eight 2007 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. The production features direction by Michael Mayer, choreography by Bill T. Jones, book and lyrics by Steven Sater and a score by Duncan Sheik.

Spring Awakening launches a national tour at San Francisco's Curran Theatre Sept. 4-Oct. 12. Prior to officially hitting the road, Spring Awakening will rock San Diego's Balboa Theatre Aug. 15-31. Casting for the tour will be announced shortly.

Songs featured in the Tony-winning score are "All That's Known," "And Then There Were None," "Blue Wind/Don't Do Sadness," "Left Behind," "Mamma Who Bore Me," "My Junk, "The Bitch of Living," "The Dark I Know Well," "The Guilty Ones," "The Song of Purple Summer," "The Word of Your Body," "Those You've Known," "Totally Fucked," "Touch Me," "Whispering" and "The Mirror-Blue Night."

The musical made its world premiere Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theater Company in June 2006. Spring Awakening transferred to Broadway the following November, where it continues to play at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre.

For tickets call (212) 239-6200 or visit www.telecharge.com.

Original cast members Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff in <i>Spring Awakening</i>.
Original cast members Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff in Spring Awakening. Photo by Joan Marcus