Deaf West's Michael Arden-Helmed SPRING AWAKENING, Starring Andy Mientus and Krysta Rodriguez, Returns Tonight

Deaf West's Michael Arden-Helmed SPRING AWAKENING, Starring Andy Mientus and Krysta Rodriguez, Returns Tonight

Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts ("The Wallis"), Deaf West Theatre and Cody Lassen present Spring Awakening, the Tony Award-winning best musical that has a limited 22-performance engagement tonight, May 21 to Sunday, June 7, 2015 (press opening May 28) in the Bram Goldsmith Theater.

The innovative and acclaimed production, which enjoyed a sold-out engagement at downtown L.A.'s Rosenthal Theatre in Fall 2014, is performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and spoken English by a cast of 27.

The cast features performers signing ASL and speaking roles including Joey Antonio, Hillary Baack, Miles Barbee, Sean Barna, Katie Boeck, Joshua Castille, Julian Comeau, Daniel N. Durant (ABC Family's "Switched at Birth"), Treshelle Edmond ("Glee," Super Bowl XLIX - signed National Anthem), Sandra Mae Frank, Kathryn Gallagher, Gabrielle Garza, Sean Grandillo (ABC "Secrets and Lies"), Karla Gutierrez ("Switched at Birth"), Amelia Hensley, Lauren M. Luiz, Daniel Marmion, Austin McKenzie, Andy Mientus (NBC "Smash," CW "The Flash," National Tour: Spring Awakening), Krysta Rodriguez ("Smash," Broadway: original Spring Awakening, The Addams Family, First Date), Natacha Roi ("ER"), Rustin Cole Sailors, Howie Seago (Wallis: Into the Woods; Oscar Nominated film, Beyond Silence), Daniel David Stewart, Ali Stroker ("Glee"), Alexandra Winter and Alex Wyse (Showtime's "Masters of Sex").

Deaf West Theatre Artistic Director David J. Kurs says, "We are honored and humbled to welcome new additions to the cast, including veterans of the Broadway and touring productions, into the Deaf West family. Their presence speaks to the artistic standards we strive to maintain and to continually elevate. We are thrilled to be able to bring our loyal patrons and new audiences another opportunity to see our expanded production of Spring Awakening at the beautiful Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts, with our award winning design elements expanded in scope to fill the larger space."

Spring Awakening, with book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik, is directed by Michael Ardenand choreographed by Spencer Liff. Based on Frank Wedekind's controversial 1891 expressionist play of the same name and featuring an electrifying pop/rock score, Spring Awakening follows the lives of a group of adolescents as they navigate their journey from adolescence to adulthood in a fusion of morality, sexuality and rock & roll. An extraordinary creative team, including Arden, Liff, and musical director Jared Stein (first National Tour of Spring Awakening; Broadway productions of American Idiot and Hair) have reinvented the groundbreaking musical about lost innocence and the struggles of youth in true Deaf West style.

Arden, who plays Patrick on the FX series "Anger Management," recently originated the title role in The Hunchback of Notre Dame at Paper Mill Playhouse and La Jolla Playhouse and previously appeared in Deaf West productions of Big River on Broadway and Pippin at the Mark Taper Forum. Liff is an Emmy-nominee for his work on FOX's "So You Think You Can Dance" and choreographed the current Broadway revival of Hedwig and the Angry Inch starring Neil Patrick Harris.

Kurs explains that his production illuminates the divide between deaf children and their hearing parents who do not share their world. "The play is all about the fraught relationship between parent and child, about navigating the world without strong guidance. The inability of the characters in Spring Awakening to connect to and communicate with their parents is similar to the experience of many deaf children." F. Kathleen Foley said in The Los Angeles Times, "It's hard to enumerate all the ways in which Deaf West's Awakening is so very, very good. The signing in this production does more than simply translate; it ennobles. Spencer Liff's choreography incorporates signing and movement into perfectly coordinated sequences that seem completely organic to the narrative, while music director Jared Steinexploits the show's young singers to spine-tingling effect. Yet the real star of the evening is director Michael Arden, whose staging involves a mind-bogglingly intricate meld of the show's many disparate elements."

Patricia Wolff, Interim Artistic Director of The Wallis says, "We are thrilled to welcome to The Wallis Los Angeles' ownDeaf West Theatre, and to share the creativity and joyousness of this brilliant and utterly original production with a broader audience. In Spring Awakening, American Sign Language is not just incorporated but actually choreographed into this emotionally charged musical, creating an organic and beautifully theatrical metaphor, ultimately expanding the theme of adolescent struggle to one that also celebrates the universal human need for communication and connection."

James D'Asaro, Interim Producing Director of The Wallis noted, "Our role as lead producer for the transfer of Spring Awakening to our venue points to two of our presenting tenets - to not only partner with the best and most creative theaters in this country and abroad, but to support in the fullest sense visionary and innovative work created in our own Los Angeles theatre community. It feels especially important that we can show that support, by bringing a show produced on the Los Angeles 99-seat plan to a full production on our main-stage Bram Goldsmith Theater."

Tickets are $19 - $99 and are available at www.thewallis.org or by calling 310-746-4000 or in person at The Wallis Ticket Services located at 9390 N. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, CA 90210.

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