Young Australian Broadway Chorus
12 – 21 January
By Matthew Sheahan
Spring Awakening is a show with very heavy subject matter including teenage pregnancy, sexuality, suicide, abuse and mental health. The Young Australian Broadway have well and truly delivered by putting on a very powerful production of this heavy piece of musical theatre.
I was greeted at the Meat Market in North Melbourne by the friendly staff and the moment I stepped into the performance space the huge set immediately took my breath away. It was a wooden set making up a double story apartment and it was very effectively used throughout the show. The live band, who were onstage, were tight and I loved how they didn’t overpower the cast but yet complimented them perfectly.
To the cast, the 3 leads; Hannah Underwood as Wendla, Darcy Smith as Melchior and Jackson Kemelfield as Moritz were all spectacular in their portrayals, Underwood had the pain and innocence of a scared teenage girl that is needed for the role and I particular loved her version of the haunting ‘whispering’ in Act 2. Smith as Melchior had the acting chops of a true professional and emotionally he took me on a journey all the way through the show with the pain and confusion he endures. Both Underwood and Smith’s vocals were strong and emotional. Another stand out for me was Francesca Fimeri as Ilse, her voice gave me Alanis Morisette vibes with her raspy rock vocals. Her performance was astounding. The cast were rounded out by a very tight ensemble. Their entries were always spot on and the sound they produced was spine tingling particular in loud and soft moments. The biggest highlights for me were ‘Bitch of Living’, ‘My Junk’, ‘I Believe’ and the crowd favourite ‘Totally Fucked’. The very abstract choreography was different to any production of the show I’ve seen before but I felt it gave the show more power. If I one tiny criticism, it’s that at times the stage itself was very loud when the ensemble was jumping around. Finally the lighting in this production was excellent, especially in the poignant moments such as Moritz death and funeral scene.
Congratulations to all at The Young Australian Broadway Chorus.
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About the Author
Matthew Sheahan is an active performer on the community theatre scene having performed in musical theatre for almost 20 years all over Melbourne. He is also a vocal coach and has also written and performed his own cabaret shows.
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