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June 5, 2009

Theater: ‘Spring Awakening’ offers a titillating experience

I’m usually a boob when it comes to classic musical theater, but Tuesday night’s performance of “Spring Awakening” was a titillating mix of contemporary music and an age-old storyline.

The critically acclaimed Broadway play, set in the repressive 19th-century Germany, follows a group of teens in boarding school as they discover their passions, desires and ability to think and act on their own. While the time period and costumes were a bit dated, the musical numbers (written by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater) offered a more upbeat, rock attitude — the five-piece band even sat on the stage during the entire production.

As with most coming-of-age dramas, the storyline bounced from the strict enforcement of repressive rules to the free abandonment that comes with first loves. The steamy sex scene involving the two main characters came at the end of the first act and continued again as the lights went down for the second half of the show. I was certainly awake after the curtain went down on “Spring Awakening,” my spirit fondled from a pleasurable theater-going experience.

PNC Broadway Across America’s “Spring Awakening” continues at the Kentucky Center for the Arts through June 7. Tickets are $22.25-$58.25 and can be purchased by calling 584-7777.