Thursday, March 4, 2010

Spring Awakening

I just saw Spring Awakening at DPAC.  I'm seeing it again Sunday with Ann, but Tim was sick this evening, so I ended up seeing the show early with Dave, with Tim's ticket.  I liked it a lot more than I thought I would. Of course, anything with tits and ass is right up my alley.  It is, in fact, a celebration of youth and sexuality in a repressed society, pre-Nazi Germany.  For my money, a much better Nazi musical than The Sound of Music.  The manner in which school, church, and family grind down individuality is a point often made, and well made here too.  The show's also about the scars that love and existence leave on us all, along with the ghosts we carry with us, the ghosts of those we have known, whose lives left impressions on our lives.

In this last respect, the show reminded me of Luis.  It was the sort of show he would have loved and I would have loved seeing with him.  Luis was the friend who was with me at various stages of my growing up--who shared the trip with me--who watched me as I shaped my sexuality and whom I watched as he shaped his.  He died almost six years ago.  We never did have sex--and this is not a statement of regret--sex was the last thing we wanted of each other--but it was he, more than anyone, who was there with me as we shed our Christian-school-instilled inhibitions about sex.

Not enough can be said about the corrosive effects of Christianity, in my opinion, but now is not a time I want to take up in listing them.  Most of them are fairly obvious, and have been pointed out many times before, by people cleverer than I, and to not much effect, it would seem--care for the soul seems to blind many an eye to plain reality--and most are content in their blindness.  "Blindness" is not even the best metaphor--"numbness," perhaps.

Outstanding in the show were Duncan Sheik's songs, which ranged from punk rebellion to sweet lyrical ballad.  I especially enjoyed the performances of Jake Epstein (as Melchior), Christy Altomare (as Wendla), Andy Mientus (as Hanschen), Sarah Hunt (as Martha), and Taylor Trensch (a junior at nearby Elon University, as Moritz)--and the sensual choreography of Bill T. Jones, whom I saw perform decades ago at the Spoleto Festival in Charleston.

I'm happy to get to see the show again on Sunday and, with better seating, get a clearer view of Altomare's tit and Epstein's ass.

1 comment:

  1. G'day from Melbourne Australia. I saw the Sydney Theater company production of 'Spring' about 3 weeks ago. I loved it. I flew up from Melbourne to treat myself for my birthday.

    I found it astonishing for a 1890 play to tackle such themes publicaly and I can see why the 1900 western world banned it for so long. The music was perfect and as much about the thoughts and feelings of the characters as about what they "say" (as in so much other music theater).

    I do volunteer work in the GLBTI community here. I've seen and heard so much in the last 10-15 years of what this show 'outed' 120 years ago.




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