Spring Awakening – A Singapore Production

The hubby and I had an argument a debate in a taxi on our way home last evening. It was rather heated and we were thrashing out some ideas and views after watching a musical at the Drama Centre Theatre.

It all started when a couple of young men contacted me and insisted that I must catch the local production of a musical called Spring Awakening. These kids were responsible for the social media work for the musical and went to great trouble to secure a pair of tickets for me to watch the show.

I have to be honest and admit that I haven’t been a huge supporter of the local art and drama scene. I’m more supportive with the local music scene but I still struggle forking out good money for a local production, as compared to say a foreign production of Phantom of the Opera or Les Miserables.

In addition, I did some research and discovered that the original Spring Awakening was a play produced in 1892 in Germany. It’s also been produced in the theatres of London and Broadway and has won several accolades. Wow. I thought, how would a Singaporean production of this musical fare in comparison? Would it be just as good?

In the end, I found myself completely immersed in the story and never once glanced at my iPhone in 2 hours! Everyone should know that that is a miracle.

It was a very honest portrayal of the issues that young people face – sexuality, child abuse, suicide, rape, abortion, etc. And it was interesting to realise that these issues have not changed since 1892 when the play was first produced. If you watch shows like 90210 and Gossip Girl (don’t judge me, I have a teenage daughter), you’ll appreciate a similar frank portrayal on a live stage of the concerns and struggles our youths have today.

The hubby didn’t think the issues were still relevant to today’s world since we are not or no longer an oppressive society like it used to be in 1892 in Germany. But I argued that the issues will remain the same even in another 50 years. It didn’t matter if our kids were more educated, or if society had progressed more, our children will go through the same shit.

Every young person should watch this musical because they will relate to it. And every parent (like the hubby and I) should watch it as a reminder of the struggles that kids face as they grow up and how we must pay attention to them.

Here’s me with the lead actor, Nathan Hartono. Handsome, right? He looked like a grown up on stage but when he stood next to me, I realised that he wasn’t much older than our boy. Sigh.

The acting was both moving and funny. Although I felt that the acting was still more conservative than it would have been on a non-Asian stage. I’m sure in a few days, the actors will push through and the show will only get better.

The music for the show was exceptionally modern and entertaining. It was hard to believe that it originated from a production in 1892. The singing can definitely be improved because we struggled picking up some of the lyrics in the songs but some of the actors were practically flawless in their delivery. I was particularly impressed with the lead actress Julia Abueva who played Wendla. Her voice was beautiful! I just wish they sang every song with clip on microphones instead of holding on to ugly black mics in several scenes! Very un-1892. Haha..

This musical is definitely worth catching. Pay a little more and grab the front seats. It’ll bring you closer to the stage and the characters will get even more real.

SPRING AWAKENING is the explosive, electrifying and exhilarating musical that breaks all the rules of musical theatre. Full of heart, humanity and humour, it tells the tale of a group of teenagers embarking on a turbulent journey of self-discovery, each one experiencing a dramatic psychological/emotional/spiritual/sexual awakening.

Catch performances from 3 to 26 February 2012. Ticket sales at sistic.com.sg from SGD50 to SGD85.

By the way, when we were getting out of the cab, the cab driver turned to the hubby, gave him his change, and said, “Sir, your wife is right.” Wahahahaha!
 

 

8 Comments

  1. The show must be great! Wish to watch it but only if I’m in Singapore. =/

    • It was great. I hope you’ll be able to catch it too. =)

  2. I think the black mics are SUPPOSED to look very “un-1892″ to match the rock genre that the songs were in! :D

    • Haha.. that makes sense too. I guess there were no cordless clip mics back then! =)

  3. Could you provide a bit more detail on the acting and vocal ability of the cast? This show closed on Broadway shortly after Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff left. I’ve been a fan of the musical for years now and I am highly curious to know how a Singapore troupe might live up to the Broadway cast’s standard.

    • Hi Alexander, I’m not an expert reviewer on musicals/drama and it would be unfair for me to criticise the technical abilities of the production and cast. I watched the show from a very layman’s point of view.. I didn’t know this musical well beforehand and didn’t know the background of the cast at all. It turned out that I did like the performance. It was sincere and convincing, and some of the songs that were delivered took my breath away.

  4. Thanks so much for the blog post on Spring Awakening! Catching it this Saturday. I’m excited. =)

    • Enjoy the show! =)

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