“Ignorance and innocence are not always synonymous” (Ziegler 5) is the moral of Frank Wedekind’s play, Frühlings Erwachen, which was first performed in 1906. Wedekind employs satire to warn against the dangers of lack of education for the youth of the play. Spring Awakening, as it is known to English audiences, tells the story of three teenagers, who are being awakened to their sexual desires. However, they are entirely unprepared to deal with these desires. Thus, “the awakening leads to death” (Boa, Spring Awakening 27) in the case of two of the characters and leads the third character to become “imprisoned as a moral degenerate.” (Ziegler 5) In 2007, Spring Awakening: A New Musical, based on Wedekind’s play, premiered on Broadway. It went on to win eight Tony Awards. This musical took most of the original scenes and interlaced modern, pop musical numbers into it. The songs served as a way to show the modernity of the issues raised in the play and to show the innermost thoughts of the characters.
In the original play, the problem lies with the parents, who have failed to educate their children on matters of sex and their bodies. This leaves their children ill prepared to deal with their sexual urges for one another. The adults attempt to mold their children into their own “ideal self-image” (Boa, Spring Awakening 35-36) They do all of this “in the name of morality, but in reality to satisfy personal desires.” (Boa, Spring Awakening 35-36) One could make the argument that the tragedy of the play occurs because of the adults. Moritz commits suicide only after his father disowns him for failing in school. Wendla dies at the hand of an abortionist only after her mother forces her to get an abortion for fear of what people would th...
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...Inc., 1987. 26-54. Print.
Boa, Elizabeth. "Wedekind and the 'Woman Question'." Boa, Elizabeth. The Sexual Circus: Wedekind's Theatre of Subversion. New York : Basil Blackwell Inc. , 1987. 167-202. Print.
Sater, Steven and Duncan Sheik. Spring Awakening: A New Musical. New York: Theatre Communications Group, Inc. , 2007. Print.
Sater, Steven. "Preface ." Sater, Steven and Duncan Sheik. Spring Awakening: A New Musical. New York: Theatre Communications Group, Inc. , 2007. VII-XV. Print.
Spring Awakening: A New Musical. By Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik. Perf. Lea Michele, Jonathan Groff and John Gallagher Jr. Eugene O'Neil Theatre, New York. 2 February 2007. Video.
Wedekind, Frank. Frühlings Erwachen (Spring Awakening). Start Publishing LLC, 2012. eBook.
Ziegler, Francis J. "A Poem for Prudes." Wedekind, Frank. Spring Awakening . Start Publishing LLC, 2012. 5-15. eBook.
For many years, American musical theatre was defined as being mere entertainment for the people. It ranged from operetta, burlesque, vaudeville, and more. If there is one towering figure in the history of American Musical Theater, that person is Oscar Hammerstein II. He was a lyricist-librettist, as well as a distinguished poet and director. For over forty years, as the theatre’s forms of entertainment shifted, he helped merge everything into the art form known today as the musical. Born twenty-three years after Hammerstein, came Alan Jay Lerner. Idolizing Hammerstein’s work, he would grow to become another distinguished lyricist-librettist in musical theatre history. In this paper, we will look deeper at who these lyricists are and their writing style. Then we will examine one of each of their works and factors that fueled their creation.
Musical theatre has been around for quite a while. But where exactly did it come from? The book Anything Goes, written by Ethan Mordden looks to explore just that. From operas to musical comedies, Mordden covers the basic history of musical theatre and why it’s important for the world to know.
Ever heard of a story that sings of the “Angel of Music” and the “Phantom of the Opera”? A tale that once you have listened to the sweet melody that you will realized that you've pasted the “Point of No Return”? This love triangle has captivated multitudes ever since the 1910 original Phantom of the Opera was published in France by Monsieur Leroux, although most story lovers recall the musical of the same name by Andrew Lloyd Webber or the motion picture adaption. Although this story has been entertaining people for over a century, in this new era have prerecorded voices and movements begun to overshadow the talented performers of live theater? Although “The lavish screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's Phantom of the Opera (2005) only deepened the damage” of the dislike of musicals made into film “with non-stars in the leads and an unimaginative production,”(Musical),which version, the live performance or the film, makes the story more attractive? To answer these questions, permit this essay to analyze two methods of storytelling: 2011 live performance Andrew Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera at the Royal Albert Hall and the 2005 film, and decide if music and story lovers everywhere have too “turned from true beauty”.
Generation X has finally taken out a lease on the future of theatre, and it looks like it is more than able to pay the "Rent" (Coulbourn 43). "Rent" is a musical for our time, for our generation and for generations to come. It has won numerous Tony Awards including best musical, book, score, lyrics, and ensemble performance. This musical is an excellent representation of cultural religion and it has had a profound impact on society both in the 90's and today. "Rent" is not only a representation of the culture of the new millennium but is an excellent representation of the faith of a new generation.
As in all genres, the musicals have had its share of failures. Some worthy dramas have been pressed into service and musicalized and sometimes butchered in the process, and audiences have had to watch a fine play diluted into a mediocre musical. But the successes have been many and spectacular and they have left a long lasting effect on the American art and culture.
When Jonathan Larson and his friend were talking, Larson was given the idea to create a musical based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La bohème. La bohéme is an opera about people in 1800s Paris struggling to find success and suffering from tuberculosis. Each character in Rent is loosely based on characters in Puccini’s La bohème. After structural editings, numerous readings, and focus group previews, the musical Rent opened on February 13, 1996 at the New York Theatre Workshop with a six-week sold out run. Rent follows a year in the lives of Mark Cohen, a struggling Jewish filmmaker, Roger Davis, the hopeful struggling musician with HIV, Mimi Márquez, the club dancer and a drug addict who has HIV, Tom Collins, a gay anarchist and college professor who suffers from AIDS, Angel, a transvestite who suffers from AIDS, Maureen Johnson, a lesbian performance artist, and Joanne Jefferson, the Ivy League lesbian lawyer who is in a relationship with Maureen, in East Village, New York City from Christmas Eve 1989 to Christmas Eve 1990. The protagonists in this musical are the six friends Mark, Roger, Tom, Angel, Maureen, and Joanne and their antagonist is the struggle to survive the hardships of AIDS, HIV, an...
From the moment a woman is born, she is automatically expected many things from her. Wear a dress, have no body hair, be with a man, don’t be too loud, etc. The list of “norms” that a woman is anticipated to uphold to goes on for days. And often times, women that decide to branch out from those “norms” are viewed as less valuable or obscene. In Robyn Ochs essay, “Bisexuality, Feminism, Men and Me”, she discusses the revolutionary moment when she realizes that living up to the assumptions of what it means to be a woman systemically limits us from our true potential. As presented in the movie “Frida”, a brilliant artist is often times overshadowed by her promiscuous relationships with women and men. A woman’s life does not dwindle down to the
...of the characters’ lives as their motivation affects what they do. The play’s overall theme of manipulation for personal gain as well as general control transmits to me clearly that we are not in control, of the events that happen to us. In spite of that revelation we are in control of the way in which we react to the circumstances in our lives. Hence, no human fully grasps the capabilities to control the way we act. We simply allow certain circumstances to overpower us and dictate our actions. Ultimately, I learned that we are our actions and consequently we should acknowledge the accountability that is implied when we act a certain way. Instead of blaming others for the mistakes we make, we should understand that we have the control as much as the power to make our own decisions rather than giving that ability someone else.
Wells, E A. (2011) West Side Story Cultural Perspectives on an American musical. Maryland: Scarecrow Press, Inc.
Butler, Judith. "Besides Oneself: On the Limits of Sexual Autonomy." Ways Of Readers An Anthology For Writers. Ed. Davis Bartholomae and Anthony Petrosky. 9th ed. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2011. 240-257. Print.
thesis of how the musical brought our inner child out to realize our true struggles in life.
The 2000s/ 2010s brought in a wave of movie musicals- adapted from the stage shows. These brought new audiences into the theatre world, and for the first time in 20 years, brought a love to some of the timeless musicals. With slightly altered songs to appeal to a newer audience, these films brought in much needed money into the industry, with films including: Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, Rent, Hairspray, Mamma Mia, Fame- and many more. Together with this, musicals began to push the concept of the songs in them, with a wave of new styles being written. Rap musicals such as ‘Hamilton’ and ‘In The Heights’, Pop musicals including ‘Waitress’ and ‘Dear Evan Hansen’ and Rock musicals of ‘American Idiot’ and ‘Spring Awakening’. Together they pushed boundaries of a ‘traditional’ musical theatre sound, and brought in something never before seen. Due to the influence of ‘Rent’, controversial issues and themes began to be explored more, such as Teen suicide, Murder, Ethnic barriers and everything else, which brought with them, a world of opportunities. It was clear that musical theatre was once again showing for a promising
The Lion King musical is a well-known musical that has taken the stages of Broadway, West End and the rest of the world by storm (The Lion King, 1997). Regarding the process of the musical, Artistic Director Julie Taymor’s first thoughts for choosing the Lion King as the next big thing on stage, was classed as ‘impossible’ due to the film’s lack of theatrical material (The Lion King, 1997). Therefore, staging this particular work contained a great deal of uncertainty and the need for taking huge risks. Taymor (1997) suggests how ‘the Lion King was the worst idea possible to create a stage show.’ It has become evident that a number of significant barriers had to be overcome to secure the practicality of the production. In view of this controversy, this dissertation will critically analyse the success of the Lion King by exploring two significant aspects that have helped to make the musical a success. Firstly, the essential components that make up this theatrical production will be explored and secondly, the roles of each producer within the Lion King and their combined and individual influences they have had from the production will be evaluated. By analysing these two central themes, this paper will show how and why this musical has developed and achieved its phenomenal success.