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SPRING AWAKENING presented by Xavier University through April 19. Click here for more information on the production. I attended the Friday performance.
For its final show of the school year, Xavier mounts an impressive production of SPRING AWAKENING. The show is smartly directed by Stephen Skiles. The tone and emotion of the show is spot on throughout the performance.
The entire ensemble is strong, focused and fully-committed to their performances. Both Maya Farhat as Wendla, and Tyler Kuhlman as Melchior, are vocally-strong in the roles. Their scenes together work very well. Gliff Bludworth’s turn as tragic Moritz is moving and emotionally touching. Megan Hostetler has a great stage presence and a powerful voice as Ilse. Molly Hiltz and Sean Burlingame show great versatility in their numerous adult roles. Hiltz gives Wendla’s mother and Melchior’s mother two very distinctive and easily identified personalities.
Favorite musical numbers include “The Bitch of Living,” “Don’t Do Sadness/Blue Wind,” and “Those You’ve Known.” The staging of the finale, “The Song of Purple Summer” was a very satisfying end to the production. The choreography by Dee Anne Bryll pays homage to the Broadway production while keeping it unique. Music director Scot Buzza does great work with the vocalists and in leading the orchestra. Thanks to sound designers Cam Mitchell & August Dice there was a great balance between the music and vocals.
On the visual side, the subtle church theme of set designer Alana Yurczyk was complimented by the work of lighting designer Alice Trent. Costume designer Kathleen Hotmer kept the show rooted in the proper time period.
This is the second production I’ve attended at Xavier University. Trust that I will be coming back for their upcoming season.
Congratulations to all on a great night of musical theater.
My rating: 4.5 out of 5
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