SPRING AWAKENING – A Breath Of Fresh Air, Now At The Curran

Cast of National Tour is stunning

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By Seán Martinfield
Sentinel Fine Arts Critic
Photo by Lynn Imanaka

The national tour of Broadway’s multiple award winning musical SPRING AWAKENING is now at San Francisco’s Curran Theatre through Sunday, October 12th. With music by Duncan Sheik, book and lyrics by Steven Sater the musical is based on the late 19th Century play Frühlings Erwachen (Spring’s Awakening) by German expressionist, Franz Wedekind. Fans of the SAN FRANCISCO SILENT FILM FESTIVAL know Herr Wedekind’s creative genius from the 1929 classic, LULU – aka, PANDORA’S BOX. The author freely explored the double standards and hypocrisies of bourgeois sexual codes and behaviors, often seeing his plays banned. SPRING AWAKENING remains true to the author’s intentions and is a fabulous musical adaptation. It is a most welcome addition to the more-than-often frivolous and groaning boards of current Broadway Musical fare. Click here to purchase tickets on-line: SPRING AWAKENING

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FRANZ WEDEKIND, Playwright (1864-1918) – BLAKE BASHOFF – as Moritz
Photo by Paul Kolnik

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SPRING’S AWAKENING (New York production, 1917) – LOUISE BROOKS
(as Lulu, in PANDORA’S BOX, 1929)

For those who enjoy and prefer minimalist theatre, Spring Awakening is a breath of fresh air. The bare minimum set suggestions of Christine Jones, simple costumes of Susan Hilferty, and creative lighting designs by Kevin Adams allow the story to unfold in a bold and uninterrupted manner. The cast is excellent and seemingly fearless. They make an easy understanding of the timeless battles of sexual ignorance, the intrusion and domination of religious misinformation, the imposed irrelevancies of Academia, along with the expectations of simply keeping up appearances with one’s neighbors. The end results are familiar and poignant – social rebellion, atheism, suicide, death by botched abortion, and parental abuse – mental, spiritual, physical, and sexual.

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KYLE RIABKO (Melchior) CHRISTY ALTOMARE (Wendla) – Spring Awakening, National Tour.
Photo by Paul Kolnik

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THE GIRLS of Spring Awakening.
Photo by Paul Kolnik

Spring Awakening is not just another bubble-gum musical for the teen and tween set. It is light years beyond the tiresome and damaging nonsense of the Disney Corporation’s series of cash cows: High School Musical. The cast of the current National Tour is strong and captivating. SPRING AWAKENING is simply the best of musical theatre in San Francisco.

The Cast List includes:
Christy Altamare (Wendla), Angela Reed (Adult Women), Sarah Hunt (Martha), Steffi D (Ilse), Gabrielle Garza (Anna), Kimiko Glenn (Thea), Henry Stram (Adult Men), Anthony Lee Medina (Otto), Andy Mientus (Hanschen), Ben Moss (Ernst), Matt Shingledecker (Georg), Blake Bashoff (Moritz), Kyle Riabko (Melchior). Ensemble: Julie Benko, Perry Sherman, Claire Sparks, Lucas A. Wells. The cast is completed by Krystina Alabado (Swing), Todd Cerveris (understudy Adult Men), Chase Davidson (Swing), Kate Fuglei (understudy Adult Women).

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THE BOYS of Spring Awakening – At The Orpheum.
Photo by Paul Kolnik

To order tickets on-line:
SPRING AWAKENING, September 12th – 30th

Add these recordings to your library of Broadway and popular music:
CD – SPRING AWAKENING. Original Broadway cast featuring Skylar Astin , Lilli Cooper, John Gallagher Jr., Gideon Glick, Jonathan Groff, Brian Johnson , Lea Michele, and Lauren Pritchard. Click here to download MP3s: SPRING AWAKENING
CD – FIRST IMPRESSIONS. the 1959 musical based on Pride and Prejudice. Featuring Farley Granger, Polly Bergen, and Hermione Gingold.
CD – Brighter/Later: A Duncan Sheik Anthology. Collection includes: That Says It All, Bite Your Tongue, and Mouth On Fire. Click here to purchase MP3s: DUNCAN SHEIK

Visit Seán on YouTube
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See Related: FINE ARTS CRITIC SEAN MARTINFIELD

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Seán Martinfield is a native San Franciscan. He is a Theatre Arts Graduate from San Francisco State University, a professional singer, and well-known private vocal coach to Bay Area actors and singers of all ages and persuasions. His clients have appeared in Broadway National Tours including Wicked, Aïda, Miss Saigon, Rent, Bye Bye Birdie, in theatres and cabarets throughout the Bay Area, and are regularly featured in major City events including Diva Fest, Gay Pride, and Halloween In The Castro. As an Internet consultant in vocal development and audition preparation he has published thousands of responses to those seeking his advice concerning singing techniques, professional and academic auditions, and careers in the Performing Arts. Mr. Martinfield’s Broadway clients have all profited from his vocal methodology, “The Belter’s Method”, which is being prepared for publication. If you want answers about your vocal technique, post him a question on AllExperts.com. If you would like to build up your vocal performance chops and participate in the Bay Area’s rich theatrical scene, e-mail him at: sean.martinfield@comcast.net.

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