Phoenix Theatre, directed by Bryan Fonseca, through Oct. 23.
Based on Frank Wedekind's 19th century drama, Spring Awakening pits sexually ignorant teens against overprotective adults, who suppress the truth about puberty at all costs. This Tony Award-winning musical melds period costumes and manners with modern music in a rock-opera format imitative of Hair or Rent.
The Phoenix presents a polished production with sleek scenic and lighting designs that incorporate the rock 'n' roll aspects of the show. Jolene Moffat and Kurt Owens are chilling as members of the oppressive society of adults surrounding these naïve, rebellious teens. However, the cast of young actors falls short in bringing this story to life. While their voices shone in a melodious blend backed by energetic choreography, they failed to connect their emotional circumstances to the songs they sang.
The fresh-faced actors had a strong handle on the melodramatics of teenager-dom, but the lack of emotionally alive singing undercut the story arc. However, if you, like myself, have never seen Spring Awakening, this is a wonderful (and probably rare) opportunity to see the show in Indy without the high ticket price of a traveling Broadway show.