The Philippine premiere of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's Tony award-winning rock musical "Spring Awakening" will feature new actors Miguel Mendoza and Kelly Frances Lati when the production opens on September 25, 2009 at the Carlos P.Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza in Makati City.
Miguel Mendoza will play the supporting role of Georg, a music student who has difficulties coping with his tasks because of his fascination over the feminine charms of his teacher. Just like the other characters in the Sheik and Sater's play, Miguel's character discovers the nuances of adulthood, and the pains of growing up.
Miguel will be seen in a professional theater production for the first time in "Spring Awakening," but he is definitely not a new face to Filipino television audiences. He has appeared in a couple of reality television shows "Philippine Idol" on ABC 5, and "Pinoy Dream Academy" on ABS-CBN (Philippines) and TFC (global). Award-winning music composer and Original Pilipino Music (OPM) icon Ryan Cayabyab is one of his mentors.
“I'm so impressed with "Spring Awakening" because it's completely different when compared to other contemporary rock musicals. The production is so daring," said Miguel who also did "Godspell" and "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown" in school.
On the other hand, Kelly is set to star as Wendla Bergman in the musical. Originated by Lea Michele on Broadway, the lead role of Wendla is highly sought after by many young theater actresses today. Wendla has to be a girl curious about life and womanhood, and very strong-willed.
Her name may not ring a bell among Manila theatergoers, but Kelly is undeniably a musical theater pro. Her theater credits include productions in New York City such as Stephen Sondheim's "Into the Woods," and Stephen Schwartz's "Pippin," among others. She admits that Wendla in "Spring Awakening" is her most challenging role to date.
"Playing Wendla requires me to explore new subjects and themes within the show," said Kelly. "She is a strong, but at the same time naïve girl, who has been shunned away from the world by her mother. A lot of young women today can relate to her."
With this is mind, Kelly has begun exploring Wendla more thoroughly in readings, research, and rehearsals -- a mark of a true musical theater professional.
"Spring Awakening" Manila will be staged by Atlantis Productions, which is celebrating its 10th anniversary, under the direction of Chari Arespacochaga (Altar Boyz, Avenue Q). The production is made possible through a special licensing agreement with its Broadway producers Ira Pittleman, Tom Hulce, Jeffrey Richards and Jerry Frankel.
"Spring Awakening" is based on the controversial 1891 play of the same title by Frank Wedekind. Set in the late 19th century Germany, the musical tackles the concerns of young adults who are exploring their human sexuality.
"Spring Awakening" on Broadway opened at the Eugene O'Neil Theater on December 10, 2006. The show went on to win eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical, in 2007.