Let’s talk about the Spring Awakening Tony Awards fundraiser. Let’s talk about what it takes and what it means to perform on the Tonys. Let’s talk about what a commercial producer of a Broadway show’s job is.
I love Spring Awakening. I love the original production and I love the Deaf West revival. While the original production’s first national tour cast is the cast of my heart, the Broadway revival, performed simultaneously in American Sign Language and spoken English and featuring Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and hearing actors was better. It told the story of the show more successfully than the original production. The layers of depth added by Michael Arden’s directorial choices filled in holes in the show’s book. It was fucking incredible. But unlike the original broadway production, it was not a financial success despite its rabid (or… passionate) young fan base.
This week, commercial producer Ken Davenport and non-profit LA theatre company Deaf West asked fans of the Spring Awakening revival to donate $200,000 to fund a performance by the show’s cast on the 2016 Tony Awards, and I have some questions and I have some concerns.