Welcome to Musical Mondays, a two part bi-monthly post. The first part focuses on a specific musical and the second part is about five storytelling songs.
This month’s musical focus is Spring Awakening, a controversial coming-of-age musical dealing with sexual awakening.
Spring Awakening was a German play written in the late 18th century and published in the early 19th century. Both the play and the musical were controversial when they came out. The characters in the play were between 12-14 years old. For the musical, the characters have been aged up.
~How I Discovered It~
I’d heard about Spring Awakening on the internet before I ever checked it out. I just began listening to the recording online and fell in love with the music and the story.
Melchior – Jonathon Groff
Wendla – Lea Michele
Moritz – John Gallagher Jr.
Ilse – Lauren Pritchard
Hanschen – Jonathon B. Wright
Georg – Skylar Astin
Martha – Lilli Cooper
Ernst – Gidson Glick
Otto – Brian Charles Johnson
Anna – Phoebe Strole
Thea – Remy Zaken
Spring Awakening revolves around a group of teenagers in 90s Germany, who are dealing with sexuality without any adult help. Most of the teenagers are naive when it comes to sex with the exception of Melchior. Melchior is the most knowledgable about because he reads about sex in books. He ends up in a romantic and sexual experience with Welndla. Wendla seems to be the most naive as her mother’s never taught her anything as shown in Mama Who Bore Me.
Moritz is Melchior’s best friend. He struggles with a lot of things in Spring Awakening such as his sexual knowledge and failing school. Unable to talk to him about it, he asks Melchior to write him an essay with illustrations on sexual aspects. Mortiz is worried about failing a test ensuring he passes school, if he’s unable to he’s threatened to kill himself. Mortiz reaches out to Melchior’s mother for help.
There are a number of other characters that don’t have any plots. Martha is childhood friend of Wendla’s whose abused by her father. Hanschen and Ernst are two classmates of Melchior and Moritz who deal with their homosexual feelings for each other. Ilse is another childhood friend who’s ran away from her abusive home life and lives as a bohemian. She has a crush on Moritz.
Wendla – While Wendla does some questionable actions, she’s definitely my favorite. I could sympathize with her aching to know what her mom wouldn’t tell her.
I was also sympathetic towards Moritz because he’s dealing with passing classes and feels he doesn’t really have any hope.
The Guilty Ones
When Ilse begins to talk to Mortiz.
Spring Awakening has a very alternative rock sound which really works given the subject of the musical.
Mama Who Bore Me
The Dark I Know Well
Don’t Do Sadness/Blue Wind
~Why I Love It~
Spring Awakening is a pretty dark and controversial musical dealing with sexuality, abuse, suicide, rape, etc. I like the ensemble cast it has and how all the characters are struggling with different things on their own. The music is really meaningful, particularly the monologue-esque songs performed by Wendla and Moritz. Spring Awakening also deals with the material very realistic and doesn’t sugarcoat anything.
~I Would Recommend This For~
Young Adult fans, fans of Kody Keplinger, fans of multiple plots, fans of angst and emotional scenes, fans of ensemble casts, fans of character driven novels.
Watch / Listen / Purchase Original Broadway Cast Recording (OBCR)