Spring Awakening

Franz Wedekind wasn’t exactly a hit playwright back in his day—though he might have been one of the more notorious. His 1891 play Spring Awakening wasn’t even produced until 1906, and wasn’t produced in English till 1917, when the New York production closed after exactly one performance. The text deals with a group of 19th-century German adolescents whose ignorance of their own sexuality explodes into tragedy—or make that several interconnected tragedies (the Germans are such a sunny people!). Atheism, sex (both straight and gay), abortion, and suicide are among the hot-button issues in the original play. With songs by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater, this new adaptation scooped up no less than eight Tonys in 2006, making Wedekind (1864–1918) the most unlikely hero to a generation of young fans since someone put a techno track behind those Benedictine monks. This road production has a new cast but the same Broadway costumes, music, and choreography (by Bill T. Jones). While the original story and characters aren’t updated, the music sure is. It’s an unapologetically fierce rock score that makes Rent sound like bad ’80s hair metal. [See Erika Hobart's review on "Thread Count" here.] The Paramount Theater, 911 Pine St., 628-0888, www.ticketmaster.com. $22–$77. 7:30 p.m. Tues., Oct. 14-Thurs., Oct. 16; 8 p.m. Fri., Oct. 17; 2 & 8 p.m. Sat., Oct. 18; 1 & 6:30 p.m. Sun., Oct. 19. JOHN LONGENBAUGH

Oct. 14-16, 7:30 p.m.; Fri., Oct. 17, 8 p.m.; Sat., Oct. 18, 2 & 8 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 19, 1 & 6:30 p.m., 2008

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