Spring Awakening

Stanford Ram's Head Society's promotional image for Spring Awakening

A friend was in a production of Spring Awakening by Stanford's Ram's Head Theatrical Society, so I decided to stop by. Spring Awakening is a broadway musical adapted from a German play written in 1890.

I was impressed with the play. There were a lot of things that I assumed were adapted in the Broadway production or in the Stanford production (such as a frank portrayal of a gay relationship) that were, in fact, present in the original.

One thing that many student plays and musicals fail to get right is the acoustics (projection on the part of the actors, mics and speakers, or an imbalance between the actors and the music), and I can't hear half of what is being said. Ram's Head got it mostly right in "Spring Awakening." The one exception was that in some of the choral songs, the chorus would overpower the person the audience was supposed to listen to. The female lead was a very strong singer. The male lead wasn't quite as good, but he got the job done.

There was one bit of confusion. There were two actors who played about a dozen characters between them, and I didn't realize this until close to the end. It added some interesting intrigue because some of the roles, while it was plausible that they were the same person, were very different.

The actors were good, though, and they successfully made a compelling portrayal of the story. Their songs were very heartfelt. I especially liked "Left Behind" -- you can see a broadway production of it at http://www.youtube.com/watch/?v=8nrA7hLuof8.