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'AWAKENING' Star Riabko Talks Rock and 'Role' with EncoreMichigan

The Michigan premiere of the Tony Award-winning "Spring Awakening" opens Feb. 24 at Wharton Center in East Lansing. Starring in the lead role of Melchior is Kyle Riabko, he recently chatted with about the hit show and his multi-faceted and dynamic musical career.

Canadian, Riabko made his Broadway debut in Spring Awakening replacing original star Jonathan Groff before heading out to lead the National Tour.

As a singer/songwriter, Kyle has toured extensively with such artists as John Mayer, Maroon 5, BB King and others. His solo album, "Before I Speak", is on the Columbia label.

Spring Awakening swept the 2007 Tony Awards® winning eight out of its eleven nominations, including Best Musical, Best Director (Michael Mayer), Best Book, Best Score, Best Choreography (Bill T. Jones), Best Orchestrations (Duncan Sheik), Best Lighting Design (Kevin Adams), Best Featured Actor (John Gallagher Jr.).

The show was also hailed as the "Best Musical of the Year" by the NY Drama Critics Circle, the Drama Desk and the Outer Critics Circle.

The cast of the North American Tour of Spring Awakening features Christy Altomare as Wendla, Kyle Riabko as Melchior, Blake Bashoff as Moritz, Steffi D as Ilse, Andy Mientus as Hanschen, Ben Moss as Ernst, Sarah Hunt as Martha, Gabrielle Garza as Anna, Anthony Lee Medina as Otto and Matt Shingledecker as Georg.

Based on the infamous 1891 Frank Wedekind play, Spring Awakening features an electrifying score by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater, direction by Michael Mayer, choreography by award-winning Bill T. Jones and Book by Mr. Sater.

Set against the backdrop of a repressive and provincial late 19th century Germany, Spring Awakening tells the timeless story of adolescent self-discovery and budding sexuality as seen through the eyes of three teenagers. Haunting and provocative, Spring Awakening celebrates an unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood with a power, a poignancy and a passion you will never forget.

Set design is by Christine Jones, costume design is by Tony Award-winner Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Tony Award-winner Kevin Adams and sound design by Brian Ronan.

Spring Awakening opened on Broadway on December 10, 2006 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, following its world premiere at the Atlantic Theatre Co. The original cast recording of Spring Awakening won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. Spring Awakening is produced by Ira Pittelman, Tom Hulce, Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and the Atlantic Theatre Co.

Spring Awakening contains mature themes, partial nudity, sexual situations and strong language.

Bravo! Premieres Kyle Riabko: THE LEAD, an hour-long documentary following the Canadian musician to New York for his Broadway debut in Spring Awakening. Kyle Riabko: THE LEAD airs on Bravo! Sunday, March 15 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT and Friday, March 20 at 7 p.m. ET / 4 p.m. PT.



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