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SPRING AWAKENING Rouses Austin

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Tony Winning (x7!) musical Spring Awakening is currently playing at the University of Texas' Bass Concert Hall, and I was in attendance Wednesday night.

I've had the pleasure of twice seeing the original cast on Broadway, but I looked forward to seeing the current touring cast (Jake Epstein, Christy Altomare, Taylor Trensch, John Wojda, Angela Reed, Steffi D, Matt Shingledecker, Sarah Hunt, Ben Fankhauser, Anthony Lee Medina, Gabrielle Garza, Andy Mientus, and Kimiko Glenn) in Austin.  This cast has an incredible following online, and I was curious to find out what the buzz was all about.

As it turns out, I'm not completely sure just what that buzz was about, as no cast member outshined the other - though perhaps that could be translated as everyone being equally amazing and complementing of one another.  Spring Awakening is an incredible show, and I believe it hard to not be successful in your role if you've been cast, as it has been one of the most competitive audition rings since it opened on Broadway in 2006.  However, I might be a bit biased to say that Jake Epstein (Melchior) was my favorite actor, having watched him for several years on Canadian teen drama "Degrassi: The Next Generation."  He was particularly enjoyable for me, and I was impressed with his stage acting abilities, as well as his voice.  Jonathan Groff he is not - but honestly, who is?  Andy Mientus' Hanschen was a bit of a fun scene stealer.  I can see the appeal he has with young girls (and boys).

Bass Concert Hall is on a college campus, though there were a large number of older, non-college-aged patrons in the audience.  I can't help but wonder what some of them thought of the content ("mature content" warnings were posted throughout the lobby areas).  It makes me giggle a bit, to imagine their discussions when they got home as they discussed some of the scenes.  A few people didn't return following intermission, and to those people I ask, "What part of 'mature content' didn't you understand?"  But I suppose there will always be people who get offended by art.  At least it made them think!

Spring Awakening is playing at UT's Bass Concert Hall through October 25th.  Tickets are available online through Broadway Across America, by phone at (512) 477-6060 or at Bass Concert Hall's box office.


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A native of Williston, ND, Erin Privratsky is a Digital Strategy Manager based in New York City, focusing on developing social media strategies for creative (read more...)