Tuesday, January 17, 2012

youth on fire. theatre notes.

The other night I met up with some friends for Balagan Theatre's first performance in their new home, the Erickson Theatre off Broadway. It had been snowing all day, but the show must go on, and jet-lagged as I was it was all worth it. Having read the Wikipedia summary of both Spring Awakening the musical (which was what we had come to see) and the 19th century German play which inspired the musical, I was somewhat prepared for the twists and turns of the plot. This left me able to concentrate on the unstoppable energy of the cast. They were mostly young - as far as I could tell, several were still in high school - and damn, did they BRING. IT. The singing and dancing was done with a ferocity that nearly blew you out of your seats, although that could have been due to the microphones. The Erickson is a small space, and the amplification was a little overwhelming.

Spring Awakening is about young love, that first flush of awareness, that intensity of feeling that sweeps you away when you are barely old enough to even understand what any of it means. And most often you don't understand it at all. It turned to the darker side, too, of incest and abuse and suicide, addiction, death, loss, betrayal. All themes that occurred throughout Balagan Theatre's previous production, Dog Sees God, which I'd seen last fall. I wonder if there is a pattern there. Either way, Spring Awakening will be back in April, and so will I (not jet-lagged this time).

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