PaliHi to Present ‘Spring Awakening’

Palisades High School will present Spring Awakening, a rock musical that debuted on Broadway in December 2006 and won eight Tony Awards, including for Best Musical, Direction, Book, Score and Featured Actor. The original cast album received a Grammy Award.

Set in late-19th-century Germany, the musical is based on the 1891 play by Frank Wedekind and deals with teens discovering their sexuality. When it originally premiered as a drama, audiences were stunned by the presentation of explicit subject matter, which led to its censorship and banning of the play.

Roberta Alaman and Gabe Galef play the leading roles in Spring Awakening.

Roberta Alaman and Gabe Galef play the leading roles in Spring Awakening.

In the 1990s, playwright and lyricist Steven Sater turned the show into a rock opera, with the intent of presenting the script’s complicated, yet universally familiar exploration of teenage development in a manner that resonated with modern audiences.

PaliHi directors Cheri and Monique Smith are excited about tackling this particular musical, and have drawn inspiration from Michael Mayer’s Tony-winning direction. Choir teacher Joshua Elson will assist singers with the show’s memorable musical numbers, from “Mama Who Bore Me” to “The Song of Purple Summer.”

Spotlight Awards semi-finalist Roberta Alaman, a junior at PaliHi, will play the lead, Wendla Bergmann.) Senior (and football quarterback) Gabe Galef will play the rebellious Melchior Gabor.

The public is invited, but it is important to note the show is intended for mature audiences only. The topics of sexuality and suicide are addressed in the musical.

Shows are Thursday, March 16 and 23 at 7 p.m.; Friday, March 17 and March 24 at 7 p.m.; and Saturday, March 18 and 25 at 2 and 7 p.m. at Mercer Hall on campus. Tickets are available at the door.

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