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Spring('s) Awakening

Spring_awakeningSpring Awakening, the sensationally good musical by Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik, won the Tony Award as the best musical of the 2006-2007 Broadway season.  Like Hairspray and Spamalot, the musical has fallen victim to these tough economic times and will close Jan. 18, after a two-year, 859-performance run.

The touring version has yet to play South Florida -- here's hoping strongly that it will next season -- but the theater program at Florida International University isn't waiting that long.  The original 1891 Frank Wedekind play -- variously called Spring Awakening or Spring's Awakening, depending on the edition you choose -- is being produced at the university's Wertheim Performing Arts Center Nov. 6-16.  And given the script's content, it's likely to cause the same kind of sensation that the play (which has often been banned throughout its history) usually does.

What's so incendiary about Spring('s) Awakening?  Basically, Wedekind's frank approach to the sexual stirrings of teens in a repressive society.  The plot touches on teen pregnancy, suicide, masturbation, gay sexuality and more.  Directed by FIU Professor Phillip M. Church, the play is aimed at mature teens and adults.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Thursday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday at the Wertheim Center, 10910 SW 17th St., Miami.  Tickets are $12 ($10 for students, alumni and seniors).  For information, call 305-348-0496 or visit the FIU web site.

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