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Springtime for Martin

15 May

Generally, I have a bias against seeing Broadway shows not on Broadway. They just never quite feel real to me, especially if I’ve seen the original cast and I’ve listened to the soundtrack more times than I can remember. So I was nervous about how much I’d enjoy Spring Awakening when I went to see it Thursday night at the Colonial Theater here in Boston. After all, when I saw the show in New York a year and a half ago, I was blown away by how much I liked it, and I’ve just about worn out my copy of the original cast recording.

Well, the good news is that this touring production is, in fact, quite good. The voices of this cast are not as strong as those of the original cast (which included, among other folks, the beautiful Lea Michele, soon to be seen in the FOX TV show, Glee), but the actors certainly give impressive performances — especially the lead trio of Blake Bashoff, Kyle Riabko, and Christy Altomare, who play Moritz, Melchior, and Wendla, respectively. And all the same choreography and music that I enjoyed in New York has arrived intact. Highlights include “The Dark I Know Well,” “Don’t Do Sadness,” “The Mirror-Blue Night,” and of course, “Totally Fucked,” the high point of this production — in enthusiasm, anyway.

If you don’t know Spring Awakening, it’s a musicalized version of the controversial 1891 play by Frank Wedekind about sexual repression and rebellion in Germany. This adaptation, with contemporary music by Duncan Sheik, includes heavy themes of rape, abuse, homosexuality, suicide, and abortion, and it’s definitely not your parents’ type of show. Based on the half-empty theater tonight, it’s safe to assume plenty of tickets are still available for the Boston leg of the tour (here through May 24). Good ones too — we bought mezzanine tickets but were moved down to the orchestra, row J. It’s not the original cast on Broadway, but I still recommend seeing this production.

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