Spring Awakening – Musical – Review – The 5th Avenue Theatre

@showsiveseen @Steven Sater's & @theduncansheik's "Spring Awakening" #angsty #comingOfAge #rock #musical at @The 5th Avenue Theatre. Starring @Caitlin & Ricky Spaulding. Shockingly #risque horny #highSchool #teens going through #puberty raging w/ #hormones. Down with the parentocracy/adultocracy! Performing until 6/30. #SpringAwakening #showsiveseen #theatre #edgy #teenagers #adolescence ♬ Mama Who Bore Me – Elizabeth Woolf

Elevator Thoughts (aka Tweet): Spring Awakening angsty coming-of-age rock musical at The 5th Avenue Theatre. Shockingly risque horny high school teens going through puberty raging w/ hormones. Down with the parentocracy/adultocracy! Performing until 6/30. #teenagers #edgy

See it, especially if you enjoy either 1) dark musicals like Lizzie, 2) rock musicals like American Idiot, 3) or stories with dramatic angsty emo teenagers who believe “nobody understands me and adults suck.”

Synopsis from the Theatre or Licensor: Spring Awakening is an electrifying journey through the trials and challenges of adolescence, with music by Duncan Sheik (Barely Breathing). Winner of eight Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, the story explores the mystery of attraction, desire, sex, insecurity, and the highs and lows of navigating the pressures of young adult life. With a score of contemporary rock music that transformed the way Broadway thinks about musicals, Spring Awakening is a poignant and thrilling ride that stings with resonance for today’s youth.

Attended Performance Date: Opening Weekend 6/14/24 – Keep your eyes peeled for preview posts on my website and social media if you want earlier notification of shows I’ve seen. Buy your tickets now since the run ends 6/30.

Type: Musical

World Premiere: No

Several or Few Scenes: Several

Several or Few Settings/Locations: Several

Static (Stationary) Set? Mostly yes

Prior Exposure/Knowledge Required: No

Defined Plot/Storyline: Yes

Live Band/Orchestra: Yes

Equity Actors: All

Total Number of Actors: 13 … plus 2 pit singers apparently? That’s new to me … I kind of approve!

Perceived Pace of the Show: Medium speed

Was there an intermission? Yes

Length (Including Any Intermission): 2.25 hours

Was This the First Time I Attended a Production of this Show? No, I saw it twice at Basement Theatricals (at 12th Ave Arts) and then at Cornish College of the Arts.

Would I See It Again 3 Years from Now? I’m veering on no. Three times might be enough for me!

Other Rave(s) Not Mentioned Above

  • Scenic Design: The modern and minimalist set showed the bones of the stage. I didn’t expect The 5th Avenue Theatre stage walls to be so close and the stage wings to be so thin!
    • Symbolism: The design was austere (in a good way) like the teenage characters’ repressed and severe upbringing. The wood breaking through the white parallelogram can represent the loss of virginity like how “morning wood” (aka an erect penis) pierces the purity of the hymen. I wonder if I’m grasping at straws here with this interpretation. If I’m not, color me impressed with the designer (Matthew Smucker)!
    • Parallelogram: Speaking of the prominent white quadrilateral, it provided a wonderful background for the actors to project shadows in dramatic scenes like physical child abuse or light BSDM. I bet this parallelogram also helped with the acoustics, which were well-mic’ed by the way.
  • “The Song of Purple Summer”: I loved the bright lights and cherry-blossom-like visual design theme in this song. It was very appropriate for Seattle, what with the annual cherry blossoms at UW. Plus, I’m always a sucker for anything raining down on the audience like bubbles or snow like in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s previous The Little Mermaid and White Christmas productions. This time it was flower petals. But I pity the cleaners after every show!
  • “Mama Who Bore Me”: The women performed this signature song like an R&B girl group with tight harmonies like Destiny’s Child or Hamilton‘s “The Schuyler Sisters.” Re-singing “Mama Who Bore Me” as an encore would have surely been a crowd pleaser.
  • Rock: The rock style was often reminiscent of Green Day especially Moritz’s (played by Alexander Kilian) songs. “The Bitch of Living” also exhibited some One Direction energy. “Totally Fucked” was thrilling with the light display.
  • Shock Factor: I’m always a fan of scene depictions that cause me to clutch my imaginary pearls in live theatre. Masturbatory circle jerks, botched abortions, light BSDM, teenage boys in rut, suicide, child sexual abuse, full-on penetration, oh my!


  • Gay Romance: I know I’m biased, but I wish the script explored the gay romance more. I think there was only one scene about it with another mention in-passing.

Other Musing(s) and Observation(s)

  • Sexual Repression: The hyperbolic calamities in this story could have (easily?) been prevented if parents only talked to their kids about sex.
  • Moritz’s Motivation: It wasn’t very clear what was Moritz’s motivation in the end. I remember thinking the same thing in the previous productions I attended. Maybe that’s a reflection of the senseless, reckless impulsivity of youth.

Theatre Company: The 5th Avenue Theatre

Venue: The 5th Avenue Theatre

Venue Physical Address: 1308 5th Ave, Seattle, WA 98101

Price: $39-139

Tickets: https://www.5thavenue.org/shows/2023-2024/spring-awakening/

Ticket Affordability Options: The 5th Avenue Theatre often partners with organizations you’re affiliated with for discount tickets. For example, they sometimes offer a discount for my employer affiliation. Rush tickets are also available day-of at the box office.

Dates: June 7 to June 30, 2024

Seating: Assigned Seating

Parking: When I don’t walk to the theatre or park on the street, I park in the paid garage at the Motif Hotel northwest of the theatre. The entrance is on 5th Ave. Do NOT park in the Hilton garage (entrance on 6th Ave). That’s where most of the audience (and I think the subscribers) parks, so it’s a nightmare to leave. However, the Hilton garage is the closest garage to the theatre and you can access the theatre through a tunnel if you want to avoid the elements. But, in my opinion, this benefit is not worth the time wasted leaving the garage.

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Pictures: See pictures below and in video above by Tracy Martin and Mark Kitaoka.

Alexander Kilian (Moritz) and Lauren Drake (Ilse) in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening. Photo Credit: Tracy Martin.
The cast of Spring Awakening at The 5th Avenue Theatre. Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka.
Ricky Spaulding (Melchior) and Caitlin Sarwono (Wendla) in The 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening. Photo Credit: Tracy Martin.
Lauren Drake (Ilse) and Ciara Alyse Harris (Martha) The 5th Avenue Theatre’s production of Spring Awakening. Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka.
The cast of Spring Awakening at The 5th Avenue Theatre. Photo Credit: Mark Kitaoka.
The cast of Spring Awakening at The 5th Avenue Theatre. Photo Credit: Tracy Martin.

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