book by Steven Sater / music & lyrics by Duncan Sheik
directed by Michael Arden
set & costume design / Dane Laffrey
lighting design / Ben Stanton
projection design / Lucy Mackinnon
sound design / Gareth Owen
Premiered September 27, 2015 // Broadway, Brooks Atkinson Theatre
Photos © 2015 Joan Marcus
"Quite simply Spring Awakening is one of the most perfectly conceived, cast and executed productions of a musical on any stage anywhere in the world...Dane Laffrey's scenic and costume design is fantastic and fantastical. The huge stage is used from top to bottom. Great swathes of metal and gangways and ladders provide a sense of an Industrial Age, one committed to routine, strictures and ritual. Homes, classrooms and barns are represented easily, so there is a fluidity about the design which matches the pulse of the music and the speed with which the youngsters must adapt and change. The final image, a design coup from Laffrey which cannot but touch the hearts of all who see it, will haunt and embolden you for the rest of your life."
-Stephen Collins / BRITISH THEATRE
"Thrillingly inventive...a first rate production of a transporting musical...stark set and spiffy, (mostly) period costumes, both by Dane Laffrey..."
-Charles Isherwood / THE NEW YORK TIMES (Critics Pick)
"The orchestra, under the musical direction of Jared Stein, is ingeniously arrayed. Several musicians are tucked away in the upper reaches of Dane Laffrey's mesmerizing cat-walk-strewn set...this version of Spring Awakening must go down as a rousing success Beyond the enthralling scenic design, the production has a youthful ensemble vigor that reanimates the joyful sense of discovery while recalling the anxiety, sorrow and disillusionment that are every bit as much a part of growing up."
-Charles McNulty / THE LOS ANGLES TIMES
"There is much that is simply a beautiful way of expressing the story's inner life. (The final image is a knockout.)"
-Jesse Green / NEW YORK MAGAZINE
"This intoxicating production kicks the power of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater's propulsive musical into a higher sphere altogether...Dane Laffrey's elemental set gives the show room to breathe (Laffrey's costumes are equally and restrainedly suggestive)."
-Jeremy Gerard / DEADLINE
"The show also pays homage to its rock heritage via the costumes of the hearing alter egos who accompany some of the deaf actors onstage to voice their lines; instead of the corseted dresses and suits worn by the rest of the cast, these actors sport leather jackets and eye-catching jewelry, emphasizing the story's synergy with rebellion in other eras."
-Rachel Kolb / THE ATLANTIC
"But this Awakening reminds us that artists use many different tools, in serve of a greater goal. It's a darkly sumptuous, ultimately uplifting feast for the ears and eyes."
-Elysa Gardner / USA TODAY
"Little can contain the new, electrifying version of Spring Awakening, now on Broadway. Ben Stanton's achingly gloomy lighting and Dane Laffrey's scaffolding-and-ladders scenic design both work well. The use of a mirror and a blackboard are sublime."
-Mark Kennedy / ASSOCIATED PRESS
"Aided by inspired and precise lighting by Ben Stanton, and by Dane Laffrey's smartly repressed costuming and somber scenic design with a gorgeous surprise at the end, the brilliant direction and choreography turn Spring Awakening into something really special and new."
-John Sobel / BLOG CRITICS
"It ranks among the most emotionally charged renderings of a musical to come to Broadway in the past decade...you'll be goggling at the visual wonders..."
-Terry Teachout / THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
"Arden's production unfolds on a stage that designer Dane Laffrey has stripped to the wings. Visually it enhances the character's emptiness and helplessness. Laffrey has opted to dress the company predominantly in period costume. The exceptions are the casual contemporary street attire that Boeck and Boniello wear: design choices that beautifully bridge the nineteenth century world of the story with Sheik's contemporary rock score."
-Andy Propst / AMERICAN THEATRE WEB
"Arden's revival is visually stunning, emotionally poignant and thoroughly exciting..."
-Matt Windman / AM NEW YORK
"For most of the show, the band remains integrated into the shadows of Dane Laffrey's industrial-looking set, whose steel walls and rolling stairs look more like a 20th-century power station than a German boys' school."
-Peter Debruge / VARIETY
"Big ups to the excellent scenic and costume design by Dane Laffrey..."
-Winnie McRoy / EDGE NEW YORK
*TOP 10 OF 2015: THE NEW YORK TIMES, ASSOCIATED PRESS, WALL STREET JOURNAL, DEADLINE