If masturbation scares you, stop reading now. And most certainly don’t go see Spring Awakening.
On the other hand (har, har), if your Prude-o-meter is permanently set to low, Spring Awakening is one of the most intriguing Broadway musicals in years. It’s like the RENT of a new generation, because it speaks to the many travails of teenage existence with poignancy and frankness is as refreshing as some may find shocking.
Set in a provincial German town in the 1890s, the teenaged characters are fighting the oppressive adults in their lives while struggling to find themselves and understand their exploding hormones and burgeoning sexuality.
With music by Duncan Sheik (you know, the guy who sings this song), the melodies are as haunting as the impending doom for many of the key characters. Most of the numbers are slow and dreamy, but immediately enjoyable despite their frequent lack of typical Broadway hooks.
That can’t be said for the raucous, house-shaking “Totally Fucked” (sorry, Mom, that’s the real title), however. Nothing gets a crowd’s feet a-tapping and hands a-clapping like big-boy curse words set to music. (We already bought it on iTunes, but damn if it’s not available as a ringtone).
We’re always amazed at the people who buy tickets to any show without researching a little bit about what they’re getting into. (It’s called GOOGLE, look into it). There weren’t many, but people were getting up and leaving because they couldn’t handle the simulated masturbation, brief male and female nudity, and same-sex kisses (in that order).
It’s exciting that Dallas is progressive enough to bring a show like this to town in the first place, but saddening that some people still have such intolerance and closed minds when it comes to anything outside their comfort zone. (Wait until they get a load of Avenue Q in May).
Make no mistake, this is a show with a message. The racy elements aren’t simply thrown in for gratuitous shock value. They illustrate basic human nature and the dangers when people try to stifle instinctive behaviors for some misdirected, pious motives that spread hate and fear rather than love.
Now through April 4
Tickets: $25 – $120
AT&T Performing Arts Center
Winspear Opera House
2403 Flora Street, Dallas