Spencer Liff, who received a 2016 Tony nomination for his choreography for the Broadway revival of Spring Awakening, will direct and choreograph the China premiere of the 2006 Tony-winning musical in 2020.
The Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater musical will play a 13-performance run at Shanghai’s Theatre Above in January 2020, according to Deadline. A national tour will follow the limited engagement.
Liff choreographed the Michael Arden-directed Deaf West Broadway revival, which featured a mix of hearing and Deaf actors while utilizing both English and American Sign Language. He'll be joined by an all-Chinese creative team. The cast will perform the songs in English; however, dialogue will be presented in Chinese.
About the subject matter, which tackles the burgeoning sexuality of both straight and queer students in 1890s Germany, producer Ken Dingledine of Harmonia Holdings, Ltd. stated, “We will not make any changes to the piece without the authors’ permission,” explaining that the production will be “specifically tailored to the Chinese audience…more implicit and less literally representative.”
Liff added, “I am looking forward to creating a brand-new production for the local audience that incorporates Chinese elements. After the auditions in New York and in Shanghai, I am very excited that our production might just present to the Chinese musical theatre market its next superstar.”
Harmonia produces with SAIC-Shanghai Culture Square.