Spring Awakening is a Tony Award-winning rock musical based on the controversial 1891 German play of the same title by Frank Wedekind. Set in late-nineteenth century Germany, it concerns teenagers who are discovering the inner and outer tumult of sexuality. The original play was banned in Germany due to its portrayal of masturbation, abortion, rape and suicide.
The musical has been met with a bit less controversy, and has struck a chord with the younger Broadway audience, many seeing it multiple times in cult-like fashion. The themes clearly ring true to pubescent audience members who identify with the 19-24 year old cast members portraying troubled youths. One highlight/feature of each show is the limited number of seats available through the box office lottery which places audience members on stage as sometimes active members of the show.
With music by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater, the original Broadway cast recording has become one of the best selling soundtracks in recent history.
After a number of workshops and rewrites, Spring Awakening opened at the Eugene O'Neil Theatre on December 10, 2006. With the 2007 Tony Awards just around the corner, the show promptly received 11 Tony nominations, and took home eight including Best Musical, Direction , Book, Score and Actor.
Spring Awakening will close January 18, 2009 after 888 performances, but will continue a small national tour.