Best Musical - 2013
Spring Awakening by Theatre Latte Da and U of M Department of Theatre Arts and Dance
1170 15th Ave. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Spring Awakening was such an unlikely Broadway hit that other productions have had trouble recapturing the anarchistic spirit and deep emotions of the original. That wasn't a problem for this co-production between Theatre Latte Da and the University of Minnesota Department of Theatre Arts and Dance. Loaded with youthful energy and a sharp staging, Spring Awakening brought the awkwardness of youth and the dream of rebellion in a repressed, oppressive society to crystal clarity. The musical freely mixes modern rock into a play first produced in the 19th century, as it touches on issues of youthful love and its consequences, sexual confusion, and suicide. The performers' enthusiasm was infectious, especially as the staging threatened to burst out of the confines of the Rarig Center's thrust stage and out onto the campus as a whole. Choreographer Carl Fink presented stylized, even abstract movement that evoked the pogoing pit at a punk rock show more than a traditional Broadway musical, while director Peter Rothstein showcased his usual care and insight.