Spring Awakening Advance Approaches $2 Million

By Zachary Pincus-Roth
12 Dec 2006

Jonathan Groff in Spring Awakening
Jonathan Groff in Spring Awakening

After opening to nearly unanimous rave reviews Dec. 10, Spring Awakening's advance is approaching $2 million, says Jeffrey Richards, a producer of the Broadway musical.

"We're very pleased," Richards says. "It looks like we're settling in for a substantial run."

Richards would not reveal specific box-office figures for Dec. 11, the day the reviews came out.

On Dec. 6., just four days before opening, The New York Post reported advance sales as "well under $1 million."



The show grossed $182,541 and filled 39.8 percent of the seats with paid ticket buyers during the heavily comped critics preview week that ended Dec. 10. It grossed $199,827 and was at 44.7 percent of capacity the week before that.

Boasting a rock score by musician Duncan Sheik (the song "Barely Breathing") and book and lyrics by Steven Sater, Spring Awakening began previews at Broadway's Eugene O'Neill Theatre on Nov. 16. It transferred from its world premiere at Off-Broadway's Atlantic Theatre Company, which opened June 15 and enjoyed several extensions.

The musical, directed by Michael Mayer with choreography by Bill T. Jones, 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 design team includes costume designer Susan Hilferty, set designer Christine Jones and lighting designer Kevin Adams.

The Eugene O'Neill Theatre is at 230 West 49th Street. Tickets are available through Telecharge at (212) 239-6200 or online at www.springawakening.com.