Evaluation: Monumental Theatre’s ‘Spring Awakening’ hasn’t quite blossomed

Evaluation: Monumental Theatre’s ‘Spring Awakening’ hasn’t quite blossomed

Like quite a few an adolescent, Monumental Theatre Company’s “Spring Awakening” can be gawky.

Portraying the craving and rebellious teenagers who appear of age in Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s Tony-successful musical, the forged at instances appears awkward or self-conscious in a way that cannot be chalked up to the awkwardness of the people. That explained, director Megan Bunn’s output is tuneful and properly paced, and a few potent performances deliver out the story’s pathos and enduring resonance.

There is pathos and resonance to spare in the show’s initial moments, when the production’s most persuasive performer, Annie Graninger, threads her way on to designer Laura Valenti’s church-and-woods established. Graninger performs the naive Wendla, and the opening quantity, “Mama Who Bore Me,” not only showcases the actress’s wonderful voice, but also instantly establishes the youthful angst, sexuality and craving that the story explores. Throughout the musical, which is centered on Frank Wedekind’s 1891 drama, Graninger deftly captures Wendla’s uncertainty, vulnerability and starvation for emotional fulfillment.

Practically as persuasive is actor Aidan Joyce, who radiates however-waters-operate-deep poise as the brainy Melchior. Also noteworthy, Trenton Beavers conveys the sweetness and desperation of the hapless Moritz, and Teralin Jones provides poignancy to the mistreated but resilient Ilse.

Taking part in all the grownup roles — this sort of as moms and dads and a physician — Molly Rumberger and Ryan Sellers go much too much towards cartoon villainy, a distracting option. Other actors, channeling Wendla’s and Melchior’s pals and friends, look like youthful artists who will have a lot more phase existence later on in their careers. Throughout the forged, specified voices are additional continually potent — and reliable across musical registers — than some others. The band, carried out by music director Marika Countouris, and generally concealed driving the scenery, does justice to both equally the rock strength and extra wistful singer-songwriter strains in Sheik’s music.

Including ambiance are Darnell Patrick Morris’s interval costumes and Doug Del Pizzo’s lights, with its stained-glass consequences. Ahmad Maaty’s stomping, thrashing and crouching choreography isn’t a novel approach to “Spring Awakening” motion — I have found its ilk in other productions — even though arguably it proficiently underscores the young characters’ alienation and turbulent interiority.

Monumental by itself is young — established in 2015 — and its mission features serving emerging artists. That goal manifests in this cast, which features college pupils and recent graduates. Just as we root for the musical’s protagonists, so we root for these performers, whose occupations may be headed — to nod to a Sater lyric — for balmy purple summers.

Spring Awakening, audio by Duncan Sheik guide and lyrics, Steven Sater based on the participate in by Frank Wedekind. Directed by Megan Bunn fight and intimacy director, Sierra Young props design and style, Yaritza Pacheco sound, Alec Environmentally friendly. With Cam Shegogue, Kenny Carter, Gabrielle Rice, Deema Turkomani, Ethan Turbyfill, Nadja Tomaszewski, Lily Gilan James, Chloe Lomax and Steven Franco. About 2 hrs 15 minutes. $45. Via July 24 at the Ainslie Arts Middle, 3900 W. Braddock Rd., Alexandria. monumentaltheatre.org.