Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 21, Ed. 1 Friday, October 7, 2011 Page: 47 of 68
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THE BITCH OF LIVING | Sexually repressed teens give motion to their libidos with John de los Santos'
choreography in WaterTower's production of 'Spring Awakening.' (Photo courtesy Mark Oristano)
pregnancy rate is among the highest in the na-
tion. If that kind of dunderheadedness infuriates
you, you're in for a frustrating two hours with
Spring Aimkaiing, Based on a German play writ-
ten more than a century ago, this rock musical
explodes with paternalistic hypocrisy, as parents
and teachers scrupulously avoid their responsi-
bilities toward children in order to preserve
some mythical idea of "proper" society.
Teenaged girls wanna know where babies come
from and are given a non-cock-not-bull story
about storks — is it any wonder they wind up
pregnant and on Jerry Springer?
From the first haunting strains of Duncan
Sheik's plaintive rock score, Spring Awakening
oozes sex. And not just pure, puppy-love romantic
H'\. These kids fantasize about their tutors and
their classmates; they jerk off to poetry; they ex-
plore sado-masochism and fetishes and drug use.
Welcome to the real world of teenhood, Gov. Perry.
WaterTower Theatre is mounting the first local
production, and if you haven't seen it, do. The
show itself is arrestingly modern, even though
set generations ago, and the music and lyrics (by
Steven Stater) are wonderful both for their ab-
stract imagery and the immediacy of the emo-
But there's also something slightly off. Maybe
it's the sound, which was spotty on opening
night, but it feels more like the singers them-
selves. Mind you, the cast — made up largely of
young comparative newcomers — all sing well,
but you want them to do more: You want them
to get loose.
Director Terry Martin gives them the opportu-
nity, with onstage masturbation, same-sex kiss-
ing and dark discussions of sex sure to make a
few blue-hairs squirm. John de.los Santos' styl-
ized choreography gives them a lot to do, bring-
ing a sense of motion to the internality of libidos
gone mad, but they need to shout a little. It's im-
possible to be too loud doing Spring Awakening
— it is a rock musical, after all. With songs titled
the likes of "The Bitch of Living," "My Junk"
and "Totally Fucked," this stage is no place to
play it safe.
Among the cast, Adam Garst as the tortured
Moritz is a standout, as is Kayla Carlyle as the
free-spirited Ilse, but each of them embodies an
aspect of adolescence that rings true. Spring
Awaketting resonates not because it feels.sd re-
mote, but because it lives inside the mind of
everyone who recalls first lust. ■
'EARNEST' AT THE BATHHOUSE
Leave it to that gayest of gay playwrights,
Oscar Wilde, to craft the most astutely observed
comedy about heterosexual marriage ever con-
ceived. The Importance of Being Earnest may
well be the perfect play: Tartly hilarious, tightly
constructed and with characters so sharply
drawn you can actually imagine the archly im-
probably dialogue coming from their mouths.
WingSpan Theatre Co. — always reliable for
queerlicious fall confection — opens the show
this weekend at the Bathhouse (a delightful twist
in its own riqht).
Bathhouse Cultural Center, 521 E. Lawther
Drive. Through Oct. 22.
Dallas County Health and Human Services
10.07.11 ■ dallasvoice 47
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Nash, Tammye. Dallas Voice (Dallas, Tex.), Vol. 28, No. 21, Ed. 1 Friday, October 7, 2011, newspaper, October 7, 2011; Dallas, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth239188/m1/47/: accessed September 19, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Special Collections.