Spring Awakening is a Tony Award-winning rock musical with music by Duncan Sheik and book and lyrics by Steven Sater. The musical is based on the controversial 1891 German play of the same title by Frank Wedekind. Set in late-nineteenth century Germany, it concerns teenagers who are discovering the inner and outer tumult of sexuality. The original play was banned in Germany due to its portrayal of masturbation, abortion, rape and suicide. In the musical, alt-rock is employed as part of the folk-infused rock score. During the musical, characters sometimes break the fourth wall to express their motivations and desires directly to the audience.
After a number of workshops, concerts and rewrites over a seven-year period, Spring Awakening premiered Off-Broadway at the Atlantic Theatre Company on May 19, 2006 and ran through August 17, 2006. The show then opened on Broadway at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre on December 10, 2006 and received favorable reviews. Spring Awakening received eleven 2007 Tony Award nominations, winning eight, including Tonys for best musical, direction, book, score and featured actor. The show also won four Drama Desk Awards, including Outstanding Musical. The production is directed by Michael Mayer and choreographed by Bill T. Jones.
Decca Broadway released the original cast recording on December 12, 2006, which won the Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album in 2008. The guitar Sheik used to compose songs for Spring Awakening is on display at the New York Library For The Performing Arts.
Spring Awakening is announced to close on January 18, 2009, after 888 performances (859 on Broadway).