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Wed., Jan. 26, 2011, 9:49 a.m.

Was ‘Spring Awakening’ ‘disgraceful’?

I attended the creative and imaginative touring  production of "Spring Awakening" at the INB Performing Arts Center on Jan. 19 and, no, I was not shocked.

In my 30-plus years as a theater reviewer, I've seen plenty of nudity on stage, from "Hair' and "Oh Calcutta" all the way to "Wit." Here's the advance story I wrote about "Spring Awakening.".

However, I will say that I was surprised by "Spring Awakening's" audacity. It's one thing to end the first act with a partially nude, simulated sex scene. It's another to open the second act by reprising that same scene, in case anybody had forgotten what these two characters were  up to.

It certainly didn't offend me. I know that part of the show's appeal is its frank appraisal of teen sexuality. But I also knew that not everybody in the audience would feel the same way. A number of people disappeared at intermission and never returned.

So I was not surprised to see a  letter to the editor by Jack Abel calling it "disgraceful." (It was printed Thursday). His letter is quite funny and provocative in its own way. Click "continue reading" below and you'll see the entire letter.

I'd love to hear from anybody else who attended "Spring Awakening." Do you agree or disagree with Abel?

Rude awakening

To the editor:

You had to have been there on Jan. 19 at the INB Performing Arts Center to see the disgraceful production of a non-memorable musical entitled, “Spring Awakening.” (I thought it was going to be about Easter).
Just how far we have come in this country to produce such a filthy show is beyond me. There is mock fornication; there is mock masturbation and songs that have extremely lewd language.
I do not consider myself a prude. I do love musicals that are in good taste. This production should have been left back east. I am appalled that it would even be brought to Spokane, though it was just a one-night performance.
“Spring Awakening” received a Tony Award, which makes me wonder if it was Tony Soprano. What ever happened to Rogers and Hammerstein? Where are you, Andrew Lloyd Weber?
The female lead in the production exposed herself for the male lead to lunch on her, but she did have a good voice as did the cast. I liked very much the lighting and much more, the doors exiting the theater.
Maybe I am getting too old but if this is musical art, then I am a Seattle Seahawk running back.

Jack Abel

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