Deaf West’s ‘Spring Awakening’ Snags Broadway Theater for Fall Run

Deaf West Spring Awakening Broadway
Kevin Parry

Deaf West Theater’s well-received production of Tony-winning musical “Spring Awakening” has set the dates for a Broadway run, snapping up the Brooks Atkinson Theater for an 18-week stay.

The show snagged a piece of real estate at a time when seemingly every Broadway theater is occupied or has an upcoming booking. The Brooks Atkinson freed up only recently, when the musical “It Shoulda Been You,” which has struggled at the box office since it began performances in the spring, announced it would close in August.

Producers Ken Davenport (“Godspell,” “Macbeth” with Alan Cumming), Cody Lassen and Hunter Arnold team up for the project with Deaf West and its artistic director, David J. Kurs. Deaf West, the L.A.-based company that performs in both sign language and spoken English, last appeared on Broadway with the 2003 staging of the troupe’s “Big River.” In 2004 Deaf West won one of that year’s special honors from the Tony Awards.

Directed by Michael Arden — also an actor (“Anger Management”) who recently starred onstage in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” — and choreographed by Spencer Liff (“Hedwig and the Angry Inch”), this new production of Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s “Spring Awakening” bowed at L.A.’s Rosenthal Theater prior to return run earlier this year at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts.

On Broadway, “Spring Awakening” begins previews Sept. 8 ahead of a Sept. 27 opening at the Atkinson.

It’s a busy time for composer Sheik, as his musical adaptation of “American Psycho” gears up for a Broadway run and his latest project, “Noir,” gets a showcase this fall at part of the National Alliance for Musical Theater’s annual festival.

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