Miguel Cervantes, Eryn Murman et al. Lead SJ Rep's SPRING AWAKENING

Spring Awakening, the winner of 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical, will deliver home-grown talent and Broadway-rocking pizzazz to San Jose Rep's stage this September. The unique cast features a blend of Broadway stars, local Bay Area up-and-comers, and three students from San Jose State University.

Directed by Artistic Director Rick Lombardo and choreographed by Sonya Tayeh of So You think You Can Dance, Spring Awakening is an alluring story of self-discovery and coming-of-age anxiety as seen through the eyes of a group of teenagers in 19th-century Germany.

"Based on German dramatist Frank Wedekind's ground-breaking play, written in 1891,
it is a reminder of the timeless challenges of the transition from childhood to young adulthood. [Sater and Sheik's] musical adaptation brilliantly bridges the periods represented in the musical - the authoritarian, repressive world of 1890s German society and the world of freedom, rebellion, and libido expressed in the modern score," Lombardo says.

The production runs from Sept. 1 to Sept. 25, 2011 with Press Opening Night on Wednesday, Sept. 7 at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available at the San Jose Rep Box Office at 101 Paseo de San Antonio or can be purchased online at www.SJRep.com or by calling 408.367.7255.

The New York Times called Spring Awakening "haunting and electrifying! This brave new musical has a shivery, sensual allure unmatched by anything in the theater right now." (Please note: Spring Awakening contains mature themes that include sexual situations, partial nudity, and strong language.)

"I'm excited to be working with this remarkable cast which includes young Broadway stars from the casts of both Spring Awakening and American Idiot, along with some of the best emerging Bay Area talent, including some remarkably talented theater students from our new partner San Jose State University. This cast is a young force to be reckoned with," Lombardo said.

The formal alliance between San Jose Repertory Theatre and San Jose State University (SJSU) provides students with access to professional instruction and experience in the theatre. The affiliation between San Jose Rep and SJSU offers students the chance to intern in a variety of fields and work closely with top industry professionals throughout the production process. Students learn what the art form of theatre means to the life of a community and how the life of a community enriches its theatre.

The young Broadway stars include Miguel Cerventes, who recently performed in American Idiot; Eryn Murman, who performed in the Broadway version of Spring Awakening; and Todd Alan Johnson, who has performed on Broadway, off-Broadway, off-off-Broadway, and on Nation Tours. Local Bay Area up-and-comers include Lowell Abellon, who appeared in San Jose Rep's world premiere of The Kite Runner; Justin Buchs, who previously performed with American Musical Theatre of San Jose; Monique Hafen, who recently appeared at San Jose Stage Company in Avenue Q; Jason Hite, who received a Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle nomination for his role in Berkeley Repertory Theatre's Girlfriend; and Joshua James, who has previously performed at 42nd Street Moon. SJSU students in the cast include Ernestine Balisi, who will graduate with a B.A. this December; Kristen Majetich, who was awarded the Edwin T. Mosher Award for Excellence in Musical Theatre; and Manuel Rodriguez-Ruiz, who is currently a sophomore. Other cast members include local veteran Cindy Goldfield, who is a two-time recipient of both the Bay Area Critics Circle and Dean Goodman Choice awards, and Zarah Mahler, who recently appeared in San Jose Rep's world premiere of Love in American Times.


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