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Get Woke: Broadway That Bites Back

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If you had told me at one point that a rock musical focused on teenage sexuality and angst would be one of my favorite Broadway musicals of the last 25 years, I would have called you a crazy person. Yet, somehow, "Spring Awakening" is a beautiful blast of empathy that makes the heart swell, the tears flow and the world feel a little more beautiful.

The story follows multiple adolescents in late-19th century Germany as they deal with issues just as prevalent now as they were then. The dialogue and music is anachronistic and their problems are all still so relatable that the time period doesn't create a barrier to the story; instead, it acts as a buffer so we can see a different culture and time period face our same fears and struggles.

Director John Kish handles issues such as burgeoning teen sexuality, abuse and suicide with a very deft touch, never focusing on the pain but only on the catharsis and release of the moments. "It's a show that seemed truly pertinent to what's happening now in our world and nation specifically. These are messages that are timeless, but the main being 'communication and education.'"

The performances across the board are strong and when the entire cast is singing, the power is inescapable. The show is truly the sum of its parts, with moments such as Katie Bullock's beautiful voice gently coming in on "Mama Who Bore Me," or Dan Schimmoller taking forceful yet gentle control of "Touch Me," Jacob Smart exploding across "And Then There Were None," and the astonishing Courtney Daley breaking your heart on "The Song of Purple Summer."

Even watching an informal rehearsal, the show was deeply moving and the cast sang the irresistible score beautifully. "Spring Awakening" is a challenging and lovely piece of theatre. People won't just get a night on the town, but something more. Kish explains: "It's a sense of hope. An awakening inside themselves to listen more, to act and not to just stand idle. A sense of pride in who they are and to open their perspective goggles a little bit more about everyday issues that are ignored."

Feb. 2-5

2nd Street Theatre, 220 NE Lafayette Ave.

$20

Bendticket.com for tickets and times

Spring Awakening

Feb. 11-12.

The Belfry, 302 E Main Ave. Sisters

$20-$25

Bendticket.com for tickets and times

Feb.17-18.

Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St.

$20-$30

Towertheatre.org for tickets and times


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