Award-winning Rock Musical 'Spring Awakening' Opens at Beit Lessin

Pop singer Ninet Tayeb stars in her first theatrical role in the Tony Award winning rock musical "Spring Awakening," which opens April 22 for a limited run of 50 performances at the Beit Lessin theater in Tel Aviv.

The plot focuses on a group of young people experiencing their first taste of sex, and clashing with the world run by their parents and teachers, who are identified with gloom and cowardice.

The musical, with book and lyrics by Steven Sater and music by Duncan Sheik, and the winner of eight Tony Awards, is based on the 1891 play by German writer Frank Wedekind.

The Hanover-born playwright led a tumultuous life, writing plays ceaselessly until his death at the age of 54 in 1918.

"Spring Awakening" was the first of six works for the Berlin German Theater. The play premiered in 1906 under the direction of Max Reinhardt in a censored version, and was often banned for its sexual content (involving minors) and its challenge to authority. It was revived 50 years later and has continued to play theaters around the world ever since.

Creators of the musical, first performed in 2006, have preserved the spirit of Wedekind's play by turning the period characters into rock stars with microphones. The combination of contemporary music with a plot that takes place in the 19th century expresses, the authors say, a message that nothing has changed.

When the show opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theater on Broadway at the end of 2006, its producers were considered courageous, as no one expected it to succeed as it did.

The Beit Lessin version was translated by Daniel Efrat; musical adaptation and direction is by Amir Lackner; play direction by Gilad Kimchi. The three leading roles are played by Ido Bartal (clever Melchior), Ido Rosenberg (doubting Moritz) and Tayeb (beautiful Wendla). Other parts are played by members of Beit Lessin's young actors' group: Hila Zeiton, Alon Levy, Dikla Hadar, Daniel Efrat, Talya Yahalomi, Yaniv Levy, Revital Saltzman, Omer Sheish, Yossi Toledo, Dana Shreier and Gilad Kimchi.