(Charles Isherwood’s article appeared in The New York Times, 9/27.)
One of the great musicals of the last decade was born anew on Sunday, when the thrillingly inventive Deaf West Theater production of “Spring Awakening” opened on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theater. Any qualms theater-lovers might have about this being a premature, whiplash-inducing revival — the original closed in 2009, after all — will vanish like frost in strong sunlight when the young cast of both hearing and deaf actors floods the stage.
Deaf actors in a musical? The prospect sounds challenging, to performers and audiences alike. But you will be surprised at how readily you can assimilate the novelties involved, and soon find yourself pleasurably immersed not in a worthy, let’s-pat-ourselves-on-the-back experience, but simply in a first-rate production of a transporting musical.
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