Spring Awakening opening at the Ford Center for the Performing Arts and playing thru May 8th is a frustratingly beautiful musical that can hit you on so many different levels during the show and then when it's won you over it can then turn on you, with a why did that happen moment. Just like any teenage it felt like it had something to say but didn't know how to say it and then wanted to be several things all at once leaving no connection but in the end some hidden beauty that the viewer had to inject for themselves.
The show based on the 1891 Frank Wedekind play, is a combination of sexuality, morality and lots of rock and roll that allows teenagers to feel that they are not only misunderstood but are cool for for it. When the show opened on Broadway in 2006 it went on to win 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical and the cast recording picked up the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show and it's easy to see why. The music shifts the gamut from achingly beautiful ballads “The Word of Your Body,” “Blue Wind,” “Touch Me,” and Whispering” to full out arena rock songs like “The Bitch of Living”, “Left Behind,” and the showstopper “Totally F*****.” When these songs are put to the visuals of the staging and performance they can be spellbinding and stick with you far after the show is over with.
The cast is uniformly excellent Jim Hogan as Georg takes his lead role and dominates the proceedings with ease and turns on a rock star performance, Elizabeth Judd as Wendella is filled with innocence and a gorgeous singing voice. Coby Getzug's is given a difficult task of playing what could otherwise be the annoying friend and makes it a sympathetic character who has trouble handling the confusion of life and Courtney Markowitz injects Ilse with a stunning voice and a memorable sadness and is able to connect the dots with a character that doesn't seem to be there. These are characters as played by this talented cast who are feeling lost in their time but trying to find an identity while staying true to themselves basically anyone who is going though the difficulties of growing up and the hardships of the adults around them.