The Joy of Sex and It's Tragic Consequences - The Denver Post
By John Moore
Denver Post Theater Critic

On film, sex sells. On stage, sex scares people to death.

"Spring Awakening" is a revolutionary rock musical because it dares not only to talk about sex. It dares to be about sex.Because it dares to re-create a banned 1891 German tragedy about teenagers discovering the often frightening passions and urges of adolescence in the absolute absence of real information from adults.

And because it dares to show the tragic consequences.

And mostly because, after the eight long years it took this musical to make it to Broadway, audiences didn't recoil at how the sex was depicted on-stage. Instead, they vaulted "Spring Awakening" to the 2007 Tony Award for best musical.

"And now we're taking the message to America," said Jake Epstein, star of the touring production that opens in Denver on Tuesday.

The fact that controversy has followed "Spring Awakening" from its inception is ironic, given the prevalence of gratuitous sex in films. And yet sex is rarely depicted honestly and importantly on mainstream theater stages.

Why? Because sex in the flesh just makes people uncomfortable.

"I think there's something about the fact that it's live," said Epstein. "When you see sex on a screen, there is a bit of a separation from the audience, and that makes it seem safer. But when it's happening, like, right in front of you, it's really intense. And especially the fact that here, it's teenagers? Yeah, it's totally revolutionary."

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Posted on 29 Nov 2009 by Nicole
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