Denver's 'Guilty Ones' talk 'Spring Awakening'
On Wednesday June 26th, 2006, my best friend and I walked into the Atlantic Theatre Company to see the, then, Off-Broadway show "Spring Awakening". The theater was small and there was an electric feeling in the air. We were familiar with the show's composer Duncan Shiek's music so we got the last 2 tickets available. What exploded from the stage that evening left us breathless. We chatted with Steven Sater during intermission and he said that they had just found out that the show was moving but they didn't know where. Well, where was to Broadway! And after a successful run and 8 Tony Awards (Including Best Musical), Spring Awakening hits Denver on December 1st.
"The Guilty Ones" is the National street crew for the show, which is currently in the middle of its first National Tour. I caught up with some of the Denver "Guilty Ones" during Showtune Karaoke at JR's Bar and Grille in Denver. They are passionate about the show and Neely O'Connor, Sarah Poole, Chris Areneson and Kat Colvin shared their thoughts with me about the show. Gary and Kristin Hathaway were busy on the other side of the bar at the second table promoting the show.
Neely O'conner and Chris Arneson have both seen the show more than once. Chris thought the show was a band when he found it on iTunes. Neely went to see it in New York and fell in love with the show and has seen the show twice on tour.
So what draws them to the show and what do they think about the subject matter and teens seeing the show?
For Neely it was the music that drew her in. She was impressed with Duncan Sheik's score. Also the the story itself packs an emotional punch for her. As far as teens seeing the show, she feels that it is a great show for teens to see. She feels that it could open doors for dialogue between parents and their kids and it is a show that both parents and teens can enjoy.
For Chris, he feels the pulsating score puts the show in another category. He found that the music was music he would listen to on his iPod in his daily life and it was cool that it is also the score to a musical. He also enjoys how the show, set in the 1800's, can go from a German Classroom to rocking out with a microphone making the show makes it easy to relate to the characters.
Sarah and Kat have not seen the show but will see it for the first time in Denver. They both own the music.
Sarah's first exposure to the musical was the Tony Awards. Afterwards she immediately downloaded the Original Broadway Cast Recording.
Kat found the show in a different way. She is a "British fiend" and actual heard the London cast first. She found the casts videos on YouTube and started following the show.
Both Sarah and Kat were involved in the theatre in school but haven't had a chance to really follow the theatre or get to see a lot of shows. Kat tends to like the promotional side of the theatre. Both feel that working with The Guilty Ones has gotten them more interested in attending the theatre.
Sarah, being a proponent of theatre, says about the suggested age for those seeing the show that theatre has a story to tell and that everyone should be able to hear it. She feels that the story that Spring Awakening tells can be identified with by many people on many levels and doesn't think it should be "censored" necessarily.
Kat was not aware of the suggested age at first. She definitely feels that if there is a show that kids want to see then why stop them? She says that a huge thing that theatre and many projects are getting a handle on is bringing the family together again. You don't have to be a "50's Suzy homemaker" style family but at least making your family aware of real issues and real communication helps in not taking a step backwards with all of the things that seem to be crashing down on the youth of today. And it is great that theatre can be so hip and so edgy to pull them in. That's what I love about Spring Awakening in that it does not "feel like musical theatre. You feel like a part of the show just listening to the music and can't wait to finally see the show live.
"Spring Awakening" Plays the Buell Theater at the Denver Center from December 1st thru December 13th. Tickets can be purchased at the box office or online at www.denvercnter.org. And if you want a really interactive experience with the show, get the discounted stage seats and sit right in the middle of the show itself!!
Gary Hathaway & Kristin Hathaway
Neely O'Connor, Sarah Poole, Chris Arneson & Kat Colvin
From This Author Greg Rice