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Milburn Stone Theatre Spring Awakening

By • Apr 20th, 2013 • Category: Reviews
Spring Awakening
Milburn Stone Theatre: (Info) (Web)
Milburn Stone Theatre, North East, MD
Through April 21st
2:05 with one intermission
$18/$15 Students & Seniors/$10 Children/$5 College Students
Reviewed April 19th, 2013

Many stories have been told about our society and its effect on our youth, the effect of our youth on society, the rebellion of children against parents, authority and the society. And the tragic and devastating consequences and outcomes that they bring. The 2007 Tony award for best musical written by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik continues this tradition in the dark and haunting rock musical adaptation of Frank Wedekind play Spring Awakening.

Spring Awakening examines the lives, trials and tribulation of a group of adolescent German teenagers in a hard-hitting, parochial private school. The piece glorifies teenage anarchy and exalts the idea of allowing our children to carry on and express themselves with free will. Innocence is lost, lives are taken, and the reality is unbreakable.

Whether this is your cup of tea or not, Millburn Stone Theatre’s production of the pop cult phenomenon is absolutely top-notch. Director S. Lee Lewis has assembled one of the most talented and versatile casts in the area ranging from Maryland to Delaware, most of whom are under the age 21. Lee’s beautiful and imaginative blocking, staging, and direction, and Bambi Johnson’s innovative and radical choreography complement each other in very way, and also leave enough leeway for the audience to make their own assessment, judgment and conclusion. The simplicity of the costumes and the complexity of the lighting design, enhance this production even further.

Ben Walker (Melchior Gabor) is superb as the young tragic hero, equipped with an outstanding tenor voice. Walker shows his range beautifully. Seemingly progressing from emotion to emotion connecting with each character and every moment. Caroline Colino (Wendla Bergman) also shines as the sheltered youth discovering, curiosity, love, lust and tragedy. Colino’s vocals are beautiful and touching; “Whispering” was one of the highlights of the evening, though at times her connection with the rest of the cast seemed distant and isolated. Kelleigh Pangratz (Ilse Bessel) brings hope and honesty in her performance. Shane Lawry (Moritz Stiefel) tackles the most difficult and challenging role in every way, and does it flawlessly! The rest of the cast is also extremely strong and versatile, filling the story with wonderful characters, vocals, and amazing movement.

Millburn Stone is a theatre that is never afraid to take risks, whether you like them to or not!

Photo Gallery

Ben Walker as Melchior, Caroline Colino as Wendla George Fletcher as Ernst, Shane Lowry as Moritz, Jeff Gorcyca as Hanshen
Ben Walker as Melchior, Caroline Colino as Wendla
George Fletcher as Ernst, Shane Lowry as Moritz, Jeff Gorcyca as Hanshen

Photos by Scott Serio of the Cecil Scene

Cast Of Characters

  • The Girls
    • Wendla Bergman: Caroline Colino
    • Martha Bessel: Bevin Hensley
    • Thea Neumann: Magan Valle
    • Marianna Wheelan: Sydney Hastain
    • Ilse Bessel: Kelleigh Pangratz
    • Ina Bergman: Miranda Daviduk
    • Company Girls: Alliyah Corley, Katie Obarski, Kashana Roberts, Shelby Smith
  • The Boys
    • Melchior Gabor: Ben Walker
    • Moritz Stiefel: Shane Lowry
    • Hanshen Rilow: Jeff Gorcyca
    • Ernst Robel: George Fletcher Iii
    • Georg Zirschnitz: Chandler Smith
    • Otto Lammermeier: Matthew Peterson
    • Bobby Maler: Charlie Johnson
  • The Adults
    • Women: Karen Decker
    • Men: Dane A. Hutchinson

The Band

  • Keyboard: Marji Eldreth
  • Lead Guitar: Meghan Doyle
  • Guitar: Jeff Gorcyca, Chandler Smith
  • Cello: Caty Butler
  • Violin: Edward Rosen-Wallberg
  • Viola: Matthew Peterson
  • Drums/Percussion: Tyler “Danger” Bristow
  • Djembe: Jeff Gorcyca

Production Staff

  • Director: S. Lee Lewis
  • Choreagraphy: Bambi Johnson
  • Musical Director: Marji Eldreth
  • Lighting Design: William A. Price Iii
  • Stage Manager: Serenity Rowland
  • Assistant Director: Brandon Gorin
  • Back Stage Manager: Ali Graham
  • Props: Eyvo Johnson
  • Master Electrician: Marshal B. Garrett
  • Back Stage Crew: Kelly Wolfe, Matt Wolfe
  • Scenic/Lighting Crew: Tyler Bristow, Brandon Gorin, Joanne Foxx, Bevin Hensley, Charlie Johnson, Shane Lowry, Eril Williams

Disclaimer: Milburn Stone Theatre provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.

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worked for twenty years as a professional actor and director, as well as worked a myriad of other theatrical production roles at various levels. In recent years, he served as Artistic Director/President of STROyKA Theatre in Washington, DC. Roman privately teaches acting, voice, and piano and serves as a consultant to various groups and schools. His primary role is stay-at-home dad and full-time college student. He also directs the Voices Unlimited Youth Choir at Mt. Zion United Methodist Church in Bel Air, MD.

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