Combining sign language and musical theater is not an easy task. However, Deaf West Theatre has taken their California production and mounted it on the Broadway stage like a pro. The story tells of young German children in the 1890’s. They are exploring life in a time when authority is strong and questioning is not tolerated.
The show was gorgeous in all aspects. Seeing actors sing, dance and sign together was a new experience. The scenic and costume design by Dane Laffrey helped draw us into their world. It was a multi-level set where characters were able to move about freely. Ben Stanton’s lighting design helped make the piece dark and thought provoking.
Austin P. McKenzie who played Melchior was young but strong willed and opinionated. Wendla played by Sandra Mae Frank lit up on stage. Her face shone so bright and her signing was beautifully fluid. The woman who was her voice, Katie Boeck, had a sweet tone and accompanied her well.
The band rocked out and made the piece very new and exciting. “The Song of Purple Summer” was my favorite, due to the entire cast being on stage. It made me smile to see deaf and hearing people blend so well and be united by the piece.
The show was masterfully done and I would suggest seeing it. Learn more here: http://www.springawakeningthemusical.com/
Rating: To Be