Based on Frank Wedekind’s banned play from 1891, “Spring Awakening” tells the timeless story of teenage self-discovery and budding sexuality set to a rocking musical score by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater that won it a 2008 Grammy Award, along with eight Tony Awards including Best Musical.

“Spring Awakening” goes so much further than the traditional Broadway show. From the intense and passionate gay kiss, to the masturbation scene, to the love scene showing bare boobs and butt, this is not your parents Broadway show.

Actors Christy Altomare (Wendla) and Jake Epstein (Melchior) in Spring Awakening. Photo by Joan Marcus 2009.
Actors Christy Altomare (Wendla) and Jake Epstein (Melchior) in 'Spring Awakening.' Photo by Joan Marcus 2009.

But this play is not about tits and ass either. It’s about schoolmate adolescents growing up in sexually-oppressive pre-20th century Germany that could easily be 2010 Anywhere. These teens must deal with quite a few issues onstage; sex, abortion, suicide, rape, masturbation and even S&M.

The very handsome Melchior instructs his friend Moritz Stiefel about the semantics of sexual intercourse via an essay he wrote with diagrams. Moritz seeks answers to his own sexual awakenings which has stupefied his emotions and distracted his ability to function in school.

Meanwhile, Hanschen is able to seduce his friend Ernst into what might be the most passionate gay kiss seen on Broadway.

The songs are electrifying, fresh and memorable with such titles as “Bitch of Living,” “My Junk,” “Touch Me” and “Totally Fucked.” It’s no wonder The New York Times said that “Broadway may never be the same again!” because of this show.

“Spring Awakening” is a major Broadway play that not only connects with a younger crowd but is highly entertaining for both young and old audiences alike. This show is so rocking that you cannot help but love it. Literally, I have to say that this is one of the best shows I have seen on stage in a long time. : :

— Written for by “Bill W.” Reprinted with permission.

Want to go?

“Spring Awakening” will play in Charlotte (Feb. 2-7) and Durham (March 2-7).

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This article was published in the Jan. 23 — Feb. 5 print edition.