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Photo Coverage: 'Spring Awakening In The Flesh' Performance and Book Signing at Barnes & Noble

Spring Awakening: In The Flesh , arrives in bookstores this month and to celebrate the arrival, the book's author David Cote was joined by the show's Tony Award-Winning creators Steven Sater (Book & Lyrics) and Duncan Sheik (Music) on Monday, September 15 and had an informative "conversation" - on the show, the music and its long-running success at The Barnes & Noble Store at the Lincoln Triangle (1972 Broadway @ 66th Street). In addition, cast members from Spring Awakening including Hunter Parrish and Alexandra Socha performed select numbers from the show. Following the presentation the cast and creative team signed copies of the new book, and the Spring Awakening original cast recording.

Nearly one hundred years after German playwright Frank Wedekind's death, his daring 1891 play, Spring Awakening, was adapted by playwright-poet Steven Sater, scored by pop singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik, and guided by visionary director Michael Mayer.  A story of the budding sexuality of adolescents in 19th-century Germany, Spring Awakening was first performed in 1906 and frequently banned thereafter. The Broadway incarnation of Wedekind's play, a high-concept rock musical that smashes pop-punk songs into Victorian iconography, debuted at the Atlantic Theater Company in the spring of 2006, opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theater on Broadway in the fall of 2006, and went on to win eight Tony Awards, including Best Musical.  Spring Awakening exploded onto the scene, inciting intense emotional reactions from both teenage fans, adults, and seasoned critics alike, and sweeping the 2007 Tonys.  Now, SPRING AWAKENING: In The Flesh, the musical's official companion book, offers fans a new opportunity to experience Broadway's most talked-about new musical.

Featuring an original score by Grammy-nominated recording star Duncan Sheik ("I Am Barely Breathing") and Steven Sater, Spring Awakening is a story of uncontrollable emotions and undeniable passions, of first loves and lasting regrets.  Haunting and electrifying, the show celebrates the unforgettable journey into adulthood with a power and a poignancy that you will never forget.  The original Broadway production, with castmembers all under the age of 21, introduced extraordinary performances by Skylar Astin (Georg), Lilli Cooper (Martha), John Gallagher Jr. (Moritz), Gideon Glick (Ernst), Jonathan Groff (Melchior), Brian CharLes Johnson (Otto), Lea Michele (Wendla), Lauren Pritchard (Ilse), Phoebe Strole (Anna), Jonathan B. Wright (Hanschen) and Remy Zaken (Thea).

Notable cast replacements have included accomplished young musicians and actors, perhaps the most notable being Hunter Parrish of "Weeds" who took the role of Melchior on August 18.

One of Simon & Schuster's most pre-ordered books for Fall 2008, SPRING AWAKENING: In The Flesh celebrates the show with photography that chronicles the show's Off-Broadway days to its current Broadway incarnation, costume sketches, original handwritten drafts of the hit songs, behind-the-scenes stories, the show's libretto, portions of Wedekind's original play, and full behind-the-scenes access, including cast and creative team profiles and interviews.  Designed to resemble a vandalized book, this beautiful volume offers behind-the-scenes access to Spring Awakening, revealing to fans:


·        How pop singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik writes his music

·        Steven Sater's approach to making a 19th-century play relevant to a 21st-century audience

·        How the show cast its all-teenage ensemble, from director Michael Mayer

·        What each actor sang as their audition song, along with photographs/coverage of the open castings

·        John Gallagher Jr./Blake Bashoff on what Moritz means to them

·        And much, much more


The publication of SPRING AWAKENING: In The Flesh coincides with the musical's first cross-country tour, which, after a West Coast summer engagement at the Balboa Theatre in San Diego, kicks off its state-hopping journey at the Curran Theatre in San Francisco.  The former stars of Broadway'sSpring Awakening - Blake Bashoff of "Lost" (Moritz) and pop singer Kyle Riabko (Melchior) - will head the cast of the national tour, which will appear in Seattle, Tampa, Houston, Toronto, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Boston, and elsewhere through August 2009.

In select cities during the national tour, cast members will perform at bookstores and sign copies of SPRING AWAKENING: In The Flesh, giving fans a unique opportunity to meet the cast and experience the music in an intimate setting.  The show's relationship to its fans is a large part of the unique story of Spring Awakening-not only its commercial success, but the overwhelmingly devoted fan base, the immense interaction on the show's website, MySpace, and Facebook pages, and the heartfelt fan mail they continue to receive every day.

"I was so completely taken by the play that every time I sat down to write you I said ‘No; I don't have the words to capture the power and the nuance of what I experienced. I'll wait till I have found them,'" said Roger, a fan.  "The experience was too deep and complex for me to describe."

And the entire Spring Awakening team, from creative to cast, embraces these audience reactions.

"What I find most satisfying about the Spring Awakening experience is sharing the palpable, abundant joy the show brings to every audience," says director Michael Mayer.  "When I watch the play from the back of the house-as I often do-I get to watch the audience watch the show, and I am always moved by the idea that these 1,100 people will go out into their lives remembering the journeys they've taken so far, and facing the journeys ahead with courage and hope and love."

And now, with SPRING AWAKENING: In The Flesh, fans both new and old have a way to experience the magic of Spring Awakening, again and again.  Cast and creative team members are available for interview.

AboutSpring Awakening, the musical:

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

Hailed as the "Best Musical of the Year" by the NY Drama Critics Circle, the Drama Desk, the Outer Critics Circle and the Tony Awards®, Spring Awakening emerged as the most talked about musical on Broadway.

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 teenage self-discovery and budding sexuality as seen through the eyes of three teenagers. Haunting and provocative, Spring Awakening celebrates the unforgettable journey into 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.

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