Their song of purple summer! Upon Spring Awakening’s Broadway debut, it catapulted stars Lea Michele, Jonathan GroffAnd Skylar Astin to fame — and created an original musical that inspired a generation.
“I’ve known since day one of working on Spring Awakening — back in 1999 — that it was special,” the Scream Queens Playbill was informed by the alum in July 2015 “I think that the idea of using this piece that was written in 1890And was banned for years and piecing it with Duncan Sheik’s amazing music and Michael’s fabulous directing was special. Every little piece just fit into place … everything just flowed.”
The coming-of-age rock musical was initially inspired by Frank Wedekind’s 1981 play of the same name. Nearly a decade later, Duncan Sheik and Steven SaterThe music, book and lyrics were written by the group. The show is set in 19th-century Germany and follows a group teenagers as they discover their sexuality. Michele Groff and Melchior Gabrielor were close friends of each other during the Broadway run.
Spring Awakening was eventually revived in 2015 by Deaf West Theatre and director Michael ArdenCasting deaf and hearing actors in the principal roles, and integrating American Sign Language into the choreography.
“I think the show tells a slightly different story, which makes it so special,” revival actor Alex WyseBroadwayWorld was informed about the reimagined production. “We are using the same text, yet it is different. It is difficult to explain this distinction. It just feels new. The focus of our production is a lack of communication … this concept existed in the original, but I do not feel it was as bold as in the current one. This is something that Deaf people struggle with in the hearing world. With this in mind, we were able to build a totally new show.”
Fast 15 years later Spring Awakening The original cast first appeared on the Great White Way in December 2006. They were then reunited for an exclusive concert. Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known was filmed for an HBO documentary, which premieres in May 2022.
“Lauren PritchardShe was played by???? in Spring AwakeningI am also known as me [in] January 2021 and said, ‘We need to do a reunion concert. It’s been 15 years and our industry has been shut down for a year and a half, two years [due to the coronavirus pandemic]. Let’s raise money for the Actor’s Fund,’” Groff recalled during an April 2022 appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. He also noted that the organization provided more than $24 million in aid to industry professionals who lost their jobs during Broadway’s shutdown.
The full original cast and band “came together and performed the show” in November 2021, which the Frozen voice actor called a “crazy” experience.
“It was so emotional, and it meant so much to all of us and to the audience as well,” Groff gushed to Jimmy Fallon. “And we had Radical Media come in and create this documentary … that’s about the reunion, but it’s also about the legacy of Spring Awakening and how it changed all of our lives and the way that theater can change people’s lives.”
Scroll down to see the original Spring Awakening Cast members are up to their old tricks since Broadway.