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Remarkable Spring Awakening in Maumee (Review) 3B Productions October 11, 2014

Posted by ronannarbor in Community Theater, musical theater, Musicals, Theatre.
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Run don’t walk to get the remaining tickets for 3BProductions outstanding production of Spring Awakening at the Maumee Indoor Theatre…heck here’s the link, just buy your tickets…3BProductions.org

Director/Choreographer Stephanie L. Stephan has done some slick professional work, and her ensemble cast are remarkable top to bottom…kudos also to music director/conductor Todd Schreiber for superb work on the difficult Duncan Sheik alt-rock score both vocally and with the excellent 7-piece orchestra.

Teen angst in the late 19th Century (though really timeless in reality) set to Sheik’s brilliant score play out the story of young love but the themes of the musical are much bigger, and darker than that: abuse, ignorance, sexuality, isolation, failure, suicide, death, rebirth. The Broadway production won 8 Tonys including Best Musical, though it was also criticized for its unrelenting view of all adults as evil and ignorant.

Always strong Libby Bruno (Wendla) and Jimmy Sherwood (Melchior) turn in powerful and emotion-filled performances, but the entire supporting cast is superb. Connor Gavin is excellent as tortured failing student Moritz. Joel Logsdon and Courtney Gray show versatility in playing all of the adult roles. But everyone is terrific: Kristin Kukic (Ilse), Jeremy Davis (George), Phil Hughes (Ensemble), Steven Kiss (Ernst), Sarah Rohen (Thea), Esther Swain (Anna), Jordan Benavente (Otto), Matt Zwyer (Ensemble), Tyler Seybold (Ensemble), William Edmondson (Ensemble), Meg Grzeszczak (Ensemble), Kayla Haase (Ensemble), Lauren Kotarski (Martha), and Eric Wolff (Hanschen). Kudos to every single one of these excellent young performers.

Stephan understands the deep emotion inherent in this piece, and she keeps the show zooming along at just over two hours with intermission. She’s equally adept at small intimate moments as well as big expansive stage energy. Witness the work between Bruno and Sherwood where each look and hand motion has meaning…or the sublime scene between Kiss and Wolff where powerful themes of love, submission, dominance, and connection are blocked in subtle but spot on moves that last only moments but convey everything. Then revel in rebellion and pent up teen energy in the explosive “The Bitch of Living” and “Totally Fucked” And I dare anybody, literally dare anybody, to not well up during a particularly brilliantly staged funeral sequence late in the show — and not for the reasons you might think.

Oh, this is a good time to mention that you should absolutely not take your kids along to see this strictly adults-only fare and that’s not a casual warning.

As for the rest, blah blah blah blah blah blah.

Very Highly Recommended.

Spring Awakening continues through October 12th only.

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