Tuesday, August 7, 2012

IGNITE THEATRE @ Aurora Fox Arts
Left to right: Brooke Singer and Jack Thomas

     “Spring Awakening” is the Tony Award winning hit rock musical that’s based upon the 1892 play by German playwright Frank Wedekind. This playwright’s controversial play struck out at the hypocrisy of German parents, teachers and churchmen for not teaching their children and students about sex. Wedekind saw this omission to be the cause of many societal horrors such as child abuse, abortion and suicide.
     With music by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater, the rock musical based upon Wedekind’s play communicates how little things have changed in the interim.
     It’s a handsome production that’s well cast, well acted, well sung and mostly well directed.
     Brooke Singer is outstanding as Wendla! Chris Russell is a knockout as Moritz. Jack Thomas is a superb Melchior.
     The show is directed superbly for the most part. However… this reviewer took issue with a few things.
     One could only wish that there might have been a way to mike the show without the use of hand held microphones.
     The adults in the show portrayed by Andy Anderson and Suzanne Nepi are directed to be serious when in parental roles which works superbly. Unfortunately these two very fine actors are directed to give a stylized clownish characterization leaning into caricature in the roles of teacher and priest. It is this reviewer’s not so humble opinion that these characters need to be seen in a serious dramatic light for the play to succeed in making us feel the full impact of the central issue: Ignorance kills.
     The turning on of the house lights at key moments in the production was also unfortunate. It caused one to be taken out of the world of the play momentarily and broke the spell, which Ms. Osatinski and her cast had otherwise succeeded in weaving. Other than that one has only high praise for Amy Osatinski’s direction.

     The use of the three video screens at the rear of the playing space added a poetic quality that enhanced the production.

     Cameron Turner’s raging choreography works powerfully well.

     If not perfect , there is much to recommend in this risky rock musical with a message that needs to be driven home again and again.

     Director Osatinski and cast drive home the play’s essence eloquently.

     It is: Sex Education needs to be given a very high priority on the roster of every school’s curriculum.

     See it!

August 3 @ 7:30pm – Opening Night
August 4 @ 7:30pm
August 5 @ 2:30pm
August 6 @ 7:30pm –
Industry Night
August 10 @ 7:30pm

August 11 @ 7:30pm

August 12 @ 2:30pm

August 17 @ 7:30pm

August 18 @ 7:30pm

August 19 @ 2:30pm
August 24 @ 7:30pm

August 25 @ 7:30pm

August 26 @ 2:30pm
Aurora Fox Arts Center – Main Stage
9900 E. Colfax Ave
Aurora, CO 80010

Adults: $25
Students: $18
Groups: $22



  1. Clearly you are unfamiliar with the show, as every North American production of "Spring Awakening" (including the Broadway and touring companies) have thus far been performed with hand mics.

  2. Dear lowes1630,
    I didn't care for the mics on tour either.