Saturday, August 25, 2007

They Didn't Get It

OK - it has been quite a while since I've posted. Mostly because my life in the summer is sheer insanity. Plain and simple.

I do have an RRS-Redux post that I'm keen to make but I'm not in the mood to go there today. I will be turning off that road in a few months and, I'm happy to say, there are definitely a couple of interesting stops along the road ahead. Stay tuned!

But today's post is about Spring Awakening. I have tried to ensure that my blog gives fair and equal attention to many things - theatre, film, family, life - so I took a break from pimping my favorite show. But I have come to a realization about this show and I wanted to share it.

First, because I only gave brief mention to the Tony Awards (8 of them, by the way), I want to say that I did indeed jump up and down like a little kid when Gallagher won for Spring Awakening. I haven't been that theatre geeky since crying during Daisy Eagan's acceptance speech. Sadly, my busy summer has precluded me from getting in to see many NY shows, so I've been suffering a bit of SA withdrawal. My sister, however, was watching the girls this week and noticed my "HAVEN'T YOU HEARD..." t-shirt and asked about it. Of course, that was like opening the floodgates. I promptly played "Totally Fucked" for her, which I knew she'd appreciate, and then I showed her the "Bitch of Living" video. Needless to say, we're going on Tuesday. My withdrawal symptoms go away and another Junkie is born, in one fell swoop!

So to my realization.

Several of my friends, younger and older, have seen Spring Awakening and I'm always anxious to hear their response. The show has met with varying degrees of favor among my friends. Most of them, as I do, love it - and several of them have seen it more than once. If a friend had a negative review I would usually rationalize it by saying that they were too old or too old-fashioned. Because usually statements like that fit. But it's more than that.

I have always been a fan of the rock musical. Those that think that Spring Awakening is breakthrough in that respect are wrong. In college, Hair was my rock musical of choice (and I loved Tommy, too!). And then Rent came along. I remember having very long debates with the Chair of the Department about the artistic value of Hair (whilst I was a student there) and Rent (when I went back to visit). He would drone on and on about how both shows were basically kids whining about everything that was wrong in their lives, with bad books and loud music. I would guess that he'd say the same about Spring Awakening.

Let's see... War, racial prejudice, drug addiction, child abuse, illness, depression, religious and parental oppression, pregnancy, sexual discovery, abortion, suicide... Yeah, I think kids have a right to whine, nay scream, about these things.

And HELL YEAH I think it should be set to loud rock music!

I then realized that Spring Awakening and its predecessors aren't about age. They are about passion. Perhaps the people that don't like these shows aren't passionate about these things. And maybe the music is too loud for them.

So when people say that they didn't get it, I'm glad that I can say that I did. Thank God that I remain passionate about the things that I was passionate about when I was 20. I'm sure the day will come when I don't get it and I'm screaming at them to turn it down... but that day is not today!

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