- One ticket to Spring Awakening on Broadway featuring Marlee Matlin and Camryn Manheim, starting from $69
- Click here to view all available dates, showtimes, and seating sections
- This musical contains partial nudity and graphic sexuality, and is intended for mature audiences
Addressing the darker side of adolescent life in a sexually restrictive society, the 2007 Tony-sweeping musical Spring Awakening is based on an 1892 play of the same name, rarely performed and often banned in its own time. Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik arranged, scored, and adapted this raw, unfiltered story, which follows a student body of turn-of-the-century teenagers as they navigate the difficult road to adulthood. The centerpiece of the drama is the growing attraction between the headstrong yet well-educated Melchior and Wendla, whose faulty knowledge leads to tragedy. Meanwhile, Melchior’s best friend, Moritz, pines for the Bohemian runaway Ilse, and tirelessly works to succeed in school even as he struggles to rein in his stampeding libido. None of the central couples’ classmates are free of secrets either, and the musical boldly faces these realities, from closeted homosexuality to child abuse.
Already hailed as innovative during its 2006 Broadway debut, the musical breaks new ground in its Broadway revival by Deaf West Theatre, a Hollywood-based company that stages major productions—including Big River in 2003—with actors who are deaf. Academy Award–winner Marlee Matlin joins the production, which weaves American Sign Language directly into the choreography, “intensifying the rift between the lost and longing teenagers and the adults who refuse to hear them,” according to the musical’s website. It’s an approach that’s garnered rave reviews; on the revival’s original Hollywood run, the Los Angeles Times stated, “Deaf West Theatre’s Spring Awakening awakens us to the dormant possibilities of this musical, with all the goosebumps and teardrops to prove it.”
And the musical wouldn’t be complete without the music. The singer-songwriter behind the radio hit “Barely Breathing,” Sheik sets the uncomfortable truths of adolescent sexual anxiety to appropriately heart-wrenching songs such as the romantically naïve Wendla’s unanswered plea for wisdom in “Mama Who Bore Me,” and “Touch Me,” a tender, triumphant ballad that buzzes with physical desire.