'Spring Awakening' opens in St. Petersburg

July 18, 2013 

One of the most universally acclaimed musicals of the 21st century opens in St. Petersburg this weekend.

"Spring Awakening," by Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater, was nominated for 11 Tony Awards in 2006 and won eight, including best musical, best book in a musical and best original score.

The new production is by freeFall Theatre Co., considered by many the finest professional theater company in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area.

A couple of Broadway actors head the cast:

• Rachel Potter (Wendla), who grew up in Pinellas County, is a hot property on Broadway. She was the mistress in the recent revival of "Evita" and Wednesday in "The Addams Family," and was Glinda in the national tour of "Wicked." She's released a country EP called "Live the Dream" and the hit single "The Verdict" last year.

• Chase Peacock (Melchior) was in "American Idiot" on Broadway.

The production is directed by Eric Davis, co-founder of freeFall and director of many of its best productions, including last year's "Cabaret."

The musical is based on a 19th-century German play of the same name. The musical is daring; the play, a critique of the sexually oppressive culture of its era, was scandalous and banned in Germany for its portrayals of homosexuality, incest, abortion and child abuse. This is definitely not a show for children.

Details: July 19-Aug. 18, freeFall Theatre, 6099 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Show times: 7 p.m. Thursday, 8 p.m. Friday, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets: $39 and $46. Information: 727-498-5205, www.freefalltheatre.com.

-- Marty Clear

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