; Fun! Fun! Vancouver!: Spring Awakening at Studio 58

Monday, 4 February 2013

Spring Awakening at Studio 58

If it's a bitch of a living, then you might need some Spring Awakening in your life. Currently playing at Langara's Studio 58, is the Western Canada premiere of the hit Tony-award winning musical, Spring Awakening.

Fans of the show Glee might know it as the production that gave Lea Michele her start. The show lends itself well to giving more than just one of the performers the limelight. Some stand-outs for me included Dallas Sauer as the tragic Moritz, Lauren Jackson as Wendla, and Stephanie Izsak as Ilse.

(l-r: Anthea Morrit, Lauren Jackson, Erica Hoeksema; photo by David Cooper)

The story centers around a group of teenagers coming of age and discovering their sexuality in a small German town circa late 1800s. The dialogue and the musical numbers however, are all modern-day, with songs written by Duncan Sheik. The show has a darkness to it with a young couple dabbling in some S&m while two girls sing about the sexual abuse they have to deal with every night from their fathers in the brilliantly performed and written number, The Dark I Know Well. Like many of the scenes, it had the entire audience holding its breath from the sheer intensity of what was going on in the story. 

Director David Hudgins does find the light however, in all the darkness - inserting humour when appropriate to help alleviate the tension. The sparse set works wonderfully as well, thanks to a set design by Shizuka Kai. It hasn't strayed too much from the original Broadway production, with chairs being the main prop. Marina Szijarto's costume design is also a delight with the boys in their school uniforms and the girls wearing period piece dresses. Shelley Stewart Hunt's choreography helps bring up the energy level with lots of jumping and jerky dance moves.

(l-r: Alex Strong, Dominic Duchesne ; photo by David Cooper)

I saw Spring Awakening on Broadway a few years ago and was ecstatic to learn that it was finally going to make its debut here in Vancouver, and by the oh so talented people of Studio 58! This is an electrifying production and a great opportunity to see this musical that may not otherwise come to town. 

Spring Awakening plays at Langara's Studio 58 until Feb 24! Shows are already selling out, so get your tickets now!

No comments:

Post a Comment