Another day, another announcement that a Broadway show I love is closing. This time, it's Spring Awakening, the 2007 Tony winner for Best Musical, which will end its run at the Eugene O'Neil Theatre on Jan. 18, after a total of 888 performances.
Sigh. First Spamalot announces a closing date (although I have to admit I wasn't a huge fan when I saw it on tour), then Hairspray does the same and now Spring Awakening. I know Broadway is cyclical and there are new shows waiting in the wings. But still, I thought Spring Awakening had enough life left in it to hang on for awhile longer.
I saw Spring Awakening last summer as the final show in my seven-musicals-in-five-days marathon and I loved it. Honestly, I wasn't sure whether it would appeal to me. I mean, anxiety and sexual awakening among teenagers in 19th-century Germany didn't exactly sound like my plate of bratwurst.
But I loved the vibrant rock 'n' roll score by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater. I loved the incredible energy and vitality of the young cast, including John Gallagher Jr., Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff. And I loved Bill T. Jones' thrilling choreography in numbers like "The Bitch of Living" and "Totally F***ed."
Even though some elements of the plot were fairly predictable, I got totally swept up in the story of these teenagers and their lives, to the point where I was in tears at the end.
Then, I met the gracious and talented cast at the stage door. The actors were all extremely generous with their time. This was after a Wednesday matinee, when they'd have to come back and do an evening show and meet a whole new group of fans afterward.
It was just the perfect way to end a trip to New York City. This may sound strange given my love for the show, but the day was so perfect, I don't think I want to see Spring Awakening again on Broadway. Don't get me wrong, there are some shows that I'd love see again with a new cast. But I want to keep the memory of that wonderful afternoon as a unique experience.
Spring Awakening is in the midst of its first national tour. I'll see it when it comes my way next year. And I'm glad a whole new crop of fans, who couldn't make it to New York, will have a chance to experience the show.
But there was just something so special about seeing the show on Broadway, with its original cast, then having a chance to meet the actors at the stage door afterward, that can never quite compare.