Spacefem (spacefem) wrote,

spring awakening

Last weekend my sister and brother in law were in town because "Spring Awakening" was playing at Crown Uptown and they said it was so amazing they'd travel for it. And it was great! Of course the Crown always manages to weird up something about it, my friend/neighbor Cate also loves musicals and spring awakening and I talked to her about how it was playing and she was like "Yeah, but it's at the Crown"... insert awkward sideways glance. There's some great musical talent in Wichita, WSU has amazing theater and music programs, and that's always been the best thing going for any show that plays here. But the Crown's food has been less than my favorite sometimes and the sound quality is sometimes not great so I was a little nervous.

And sure enough, for this show they cut out the intermission which was just weird, I had no idea where we were at in the show. Why would a dinner theater that sells drinks cut out intermission? They also told the audience "no applause until the end", which gave me the impression that they were trying to get out of there on time, like the actors had a better party to go to or were being paid by the hour. And my sister has seen the show several times and said that the set was weirdly overcomplicated, there were these big lamps that go up and down but not in a cool way, it was a little distracting. Then we heard that they CENSORED previous performances, "you're fucked" turned into "you're effed"... that would be AWFUL. please, do not censor tony-award winning musicals! especially when the plot is basically about censorship! come on!

The actors were great, the singing amazing, the show itself is awesome. It's a cautionary tale about what happens when teenagers lack access to comprehensive sex education. What's amazing is that it's based on a play written in 1890... that guy wanted kids to know the truth! And we're still debating this shit! There are even whole songs about masturbation, I was like "Masturbation has been around for 120 years?" (to which someone, I won't say who, replies to me, "Well it's been around at least 25 years...")

The first act of the musical is totally sexy, the second is totally depressing because everyone deals with awful consequences of not-knowing-what-they're-doing combined with a lot of intolerance from adults. Marc said the feminist in him couldn't help but notice how uneven the decks were stacked against the women. The guys are singing about how hard their lives are because they get too many boners, while the girls deal with molestation and rape, unplanned pregnancy, death from botched abortions... not in the same character at least.

The depressing-ness factor is the only reason I'm not going to say it's my favorite musical ever. My sister and BIL seem to love depressing musicals... Company is one of their favorites, I told them I was worried about their marriage when I heard that because Company is about how depressing and awful relationships in general are, right?

For the record, I think every musical should be Wicked, or Singing in the Rain, or maybe even Rocky Horror Picture Show but the kids aren't quite old enough for that one yet. I tried to teach Josie the Time Warp but she didn't get it at the time, might have to try again. If you get a chance to see Spring Awakening though, you should, and you can marvel about how much we have in common with late 19th-century Germany while enjoying catchy angst-ridden songs.
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