Memories of an idyllic childhood often don't jibe with the reality of going through the wonder years when hormones and emotions run as wild as the hair sprouting on your legs.
It takes about five years, from 10-15 or 11-16, then you spend the rest of your life figuring out what happened, from pimples to puberty and all those scary, wonderful feelings that seem to pop up at the most inconvenient moment.
The strange thing is, we don't talk much about it, not then or now, we learn the mechanics but not the feelings, not the emotions of this "Spring Awakening," which German playwright Frank Wedekind called his ultimate coming-of-age story more than a century ago. More than 100 years later, Steven Sater and Duncan Sheik turned Wedekind's groundbreaking play into a rock musical. The show opens April 4 in Las Positas College's performing arts center.
There, audiences can see this blend of 19th century rock-ribbed morality and facts-of-life bashfulness with the freeing concupiscence of rock music. Essentially, the repressed 1890s German adolescents in the musical whip out wireless microphones, which become talisman-like time machines, linking the poor repressed kids with the sound, soul and freedom of contemporary rock.
It's a knockout of a play, and for parents willing to put up with some discomfort, it may be a great launching point for "the talk."
"It's a great show," said Titian Lish, theater department head, who is directing the show with a cast of Las Positas students. "It's a beautiful original play and a very interesting musical. I think sometimes we forget it's a really beautiful piece about growing up when people sensationalize the sexual side of the story. There really is nothing new under the sun."
However, Lish said, the period of time spent in this awakening period is so uncomfortable that those who have grown through it tend to minimize it and rarely talk about it. And there are sexual situations in the show, since that is a major part of the spring awakening, but the show contains many other aspects of adolescence.
Lish said the rehearsals have been fascinating because of the conversations prompted by the unfolding scenes for cast members to open up about their own experiences.
That's often the same experience with audiences, whose show-prompted thoughts lead to conversations lasting long into the night. Already there are some people in the area who have expressed some surprise that the drama department would produce the musical, which has been softened considerably from the play yet continues to raise the haunting questions of adolescence.
"Spring Awakening" contains mature themes, sexual situations, strong language and may not be appropriate for younger or sensitive audiences. It is recommended for ages 15 and up by the theater department.
The musical will be presented in the main stage theater at 8 p.m. April 4, 5, 11, and 13, and at 2 p.m. April 6 and 13. Tickets are $15, general admission; $10 for students and seniors. Tickets are available at the door, (cash and checks only); at 800-838-3006 or brownpapertickets.com. There is a parking fee for nonstudents or faculty.
"HAVE A LITTLE FAITH:" Tony Award-winning Broadway, star Faith Prince brings her one-woman show to the Firehouse Arts Center. A "smorgasbord" of Faith Prince songs and humor from appearances on- and off-Broadway, as well as film, club and television, the show will be presented for only one performance at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets to the Sunday show cost $20 to $30 and may be reserved at 925-931-4848. The Firehouse Arts Center is at 4444 Railroad Ave. in Pleasanton. Box office hours are Wednesday through Friday, 12 to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and for two hours before the performance.
Contact Pat Craig at firstname.lastname@example.org.