About Spring Awakening
"a unique and wonderful experience, not to be missed." - Roverarts.com
SPECIAL THANKS INDIEGOGO SUPPORTERS!
Joseph Ste. Marie
IN THE MEDIA
Hitting all the right notes
Spring Awakening, Centre Calixa Lavallée, to Oct 27
by ANNA FUERSTENBERG for Roverarts.com
It is terrific to watch fourteen, yes count them, fourteen young actors singing their hearts out. And that’s just the cast; they share the stage with a seven piece orchestra on a minimal set at Calixa Lavallée in the middle of Parc Lafontaine. Just for historical context, it is amusing to see the play that influenced some of the most important playwrights of the twentieth century and was censored in so many countries.
The story starts with a delightfully heart breaking scene in which the female lead (Gab Lubin as Wendla) cannot get her mother to tell her the most basic facts of life. The curtain riser is very unusual as it is this character’s plaintive cry for more reproductive information from the woman who bore her. The play has every kind of sexuality on the menu, and quite creatively deals with the angst and frustration of being an adolescent in the Weimar Republic. The issues — parental sexual abuse, adolescent suicide, sado-masochism, homosexuality, and abortion — are as pertinent today as they were then, if somewhat less shocking.
There is some terrific choreography (by Alexia Gourd), particularly the dance around the song about being f—ed no matter what you do. The sheer passion on stage is a delight. Zachary Creatchman as Melchior gives a really great performance and is up to the complexity of the leading character. It would have served his performance much better if he had not kneeled (downstage left) during one of the most emotional moments of the play, hiding his face from most of the audience. But he is not to blame for the blocking.
The choice of giving all the actors hand mikes also creates moments of awkwardness. The orchestra is really good and it is unclear why their music sometimes drowns out the singing, as lyrics are very crucial to this play. It might have served the drama better if the orchestra were just three pieces and the singers could sing over them.
Marie-Pierre de Brienne gives a remarkable performance as Ilse. Alexandra Ghezzi is terrific in all the adult female parts and Alexander Goldrich really nails all the male adults, and especially the father of the tragic Moritz. Adam Capriolo is wonderful in the dual parts of Hanschen and Rupert, managing to wrest comedy out of awkwardness.
There is much to be said for a truly committed ensemble cast doing a fabulously interesting piece of theatre. It is fortunate that we have Persephone Productions in this town to take such huge bites and attempt such marvelous plays. I recommend it as a unique and wonderful experience, not to be missed.
October 17th – 27th
Calixa-Lavallée Cultural Center (3819, rue Calixa-Lavallée)
$30 Regular / $25 QDF, Seniors, Adult Groups / $20 Students
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