As Deadline reported exclusively last week, a revival of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s musical will move from Los Angeles to Broadway in the fall. Ken Davenport, producing the transfer with Cody Lassen, Hunter Arnold and Deaf West Theatre (Artistic Director, David J. Kurs), said Tuesday morning that the 2007 Tony best musical winner will begin an 18-week run on September 8 at the Nederlander-owned Brooks Atkinson Theatre. (The Atkinson currently is home to It Shoulda Been You, shuttering August 9.) Opening night of Spring is set for September 27 and the show will close January 9, 2016 (“with no possibility of extension,” per the announcement, suggesting that the Atkinson is booked for the spring awakening of another show, possibly Sheik’s American Psycho).
“We gotta be out of the building,” Davenport told Deadline. “I think consumers are smart enough to know that if a show is a hit, it’ll extend, so they wait. If they wait here, they could miss out on one of the coolest things to hit Broadway in a long time.”
The revival is a co-production of Los Angeles-based Deaf West Theatre and Forest Of Arden, whose founder, Michael Arden, directs; with choreography by Spencer Liff. (Forest Of Arden is not named as a co-producer of the Broadway transfer.) Deaf West is best known on Broadway for its knockout 2003 revival of Roger Miller’s Huck Finn musical Big River. Like that show, Spring Awakening will mix hearing and deaf performers, with some roles played by two actors, one singing and the other signing in American Sign Language. Casting will be announced shortly.
Following the recent West Coast runs, Sheik said, “Spring Awakening is very much about the difficulty that parents and children have with communication. So there’s a beautiful metaphor to it being done with this particular set of actors. The musicianship and the vocal performances of the Broadway cast being assembled are second to none, and that combined with the amazing physicality of the signing actors really raises the emotional bar.”
Wedekind’s play concerns a group of hormonally buzzed teens dealing with sex, abuse, grades, rejection and general parental block-headedness. Without obviously updating the story, Sheik and Sater added a dazzling alt-rock score and a charismatic cast that led to eight Tony Awards, including best musical, in 2007.