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Relive the Song of Purple Summer: A Look Back at SPRING AWAKENING's Original Broadway Run

The 'Song of Purple Summer' might be heard - and seen - once more on Broadway.

As reported earlier today, news that Deaf West Theatre's highly-acclaimed production of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's Tony-winning musical SPRING AWAKENING will likely be transferring to Broadway in the fall began to break. Head producer Ken Davenport is reportedly just waiting for a theater to open up, with casting notices expected to be posted shortly. The reports comes a few weeks after BroadwayWorld brought you the exclusive news that the producers were in active talks with Broadway and Off-Broadway venues for a revival of the beloved piece.

Directed by Michael Arden, the production was first staged in L.A. at Inner-City Arts' Rosenthal Theater, before heading to Wallis Annenberg Center For The Performing Arts in Beverly Hills this year.

With music by Duncan Sheik and a book and lyrics by Steven Sater, SPRING AWAKENING is "based on the German play Spring Awakening (1891) by Frank Wedekind. Set in late-19th century Germany, the musical tells the story of teenagers discovering the inner and outer tumult of teenage sexuality. In the musical, alternative rock is employed as part of the folk-infused rock score."

The success of the original Broadway production, which launched in 2006 and closed in 2009, lead to a handful of other productions, both stateside and worldwide. SPRING AWAKENING was also briefly staged in the West End, which took home four Laurence Olivier Awards including Best Musical.

A musical adaptation of Wedekind's SPRING AWAKENING first arose in the 1990s, leading to a series of workshops, rewrites, and more workshops before an Off-Broadway debut, and ultimately, a successful run on the Great White Way, which opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on December 10, 2006, leading to a total gross of over $50 million during its two years on stage.

The musical eventually propelled its lead cast members, Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele, to stardom, both making the transition to television and film. The cast also included Skylar Astin of PITCH PERFECT fame and John Gallagher, Jr.

The original Broadway production won 8 Tony Awards, including Tonys for Best Musical, Direction, Book, Score and Featured Actor, as well as a Grammy.

In celebration of today's news, BWW brings you a look back at the Broadway production below!

Seven years later, a new multi-talented creative team took another crack at the angst, beauty, and torment of SPRING AWAKENING. Headed by director Michael Arden, choreographer Spencer Liff, and musical director Jared Stein, the company has "reinvented the groundbreaking musical about lost innocence and the struggles of youth in true Deaf West style."

The recent Los Angeles cast featured Andy Mientus, who appeared in the first national tour of SPRING AWAKENING, as well as Krysta Rodriguez, who was featured in the original Broadway production. The cast also included Joey Antonio, Hillary Baack, Miles Barbee, Sean Barna, Katie Boeck, Alex Boniello, 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, Natacha Roi ("ER"), 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").

Below, take a look at Deaf West's inventive take on the musical!

As always, BroadwayWorld will keep you updated on the potential Broadway revival of SPRING AWAKENING, and much, much more.

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From This Author Tyler Peterson

Tyler is one of BroadwayWorld's lead News Desk Editors, covering breaking Broadway and theatre news daily. He studied Public Relations and Creative Writing at Loyola (read more...)

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