Friday, February 8, 2008

It's lonely on the fringes

It's not an easy thing to admit.

All right. Deep breath.

I didn't like "Spring Awakening." There. I said it.

(Gasp). You mean the critically acclaimed Tony Award-winning musical that tourists are flocking to like adolescent girls to a Hannah Montana concert? Yes, that one. It was just ... meh.

It's a familiar position for me, being on the outskirts of what are typically held as self-evident truths in the pop culture world. I have no interest in Harry Potter. I don't see how people find Scarlett Johansson attractive (from the shoulders up, anyway). And don't even get me started on "Sex and the City."

But back to the show. Let me be clear. I didn't dislike it. I went in expecting to love it; I've been waiting for months to see it. I think it's a great story, both dramatically and metaphorically, and thought Lea Michele and many of the supporting cast members were outstanding. The final "graveyard scene" was incredibly moving and even brought a tear to my eye.

Still ...

I was too distracted by the sprays of spit flying from Jonathan Groff's mouth every time he said a line to appreciate his abilities as a lead actor. Blake Bashoff overacted too much for my taste as Moritz. I thought Duncan Sheik's score was nothing special. (Let's just say there's probably a reason he was only a one-hit wonder). And the choreography (when there was any) was a bit too spastic and seizure-like.

So maybe I'm missing something. Maybe if I had seen "Spring Awakening" before all the hype I would have had a different reaction. And maybe if I see it again it will strike more of a chord. But for right now, I'd tell people to save their money and go see "Avenue Q" or "Hairspray." Contrary to what its name implies, "Spring Awakening" left me feeling a bit drowsy.

1 comment:

D. Paul said...

I'm with you on Sex and the City, but I still think Scarlett is an attractive woman, albeit with a bit of a screwy smile. And I actually like quite a bit of Duncan's work. But I'm guesing I wouldn't like that thar musical of which you speak. Too much saliva, it sounds like.