TODAY IN THEATRE HISTORY: In 2006, Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s musical Spring Awakening, based on the 1891 troubled teen drama by Frank Wedekind, opens on Broadway at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre. Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff star as teens Wendla and Melchior, who are drawn to each other in a world where parents, ministers and teachers create an atmosphere of shame, silence and ignorance. The production will go on to win eight Tony Awards, including ones for John Gallagher, Jr.’s performance as Moritz, Best Original Score and Best Musical.
Jon: We met at an audition for Spring Awakening in 2005. I distinctly remember Lea because she was sitting in a corner, like, with her little dress on and her litte book and she stood up and she introduced herself to me and she was like “I‘m Lea Michele. I played Wendla in every previous workshops of Spring Awakening and I’ll help you get this job.”
Lea: And I remember meeting Jonathan and being like ‘he’s not going to get this’. I was like ‘poor thing, he’s not going to get it’.
Jon: I had short hair with like CVS gel in it.
Lea: So much gel that in the workshops of Spring Awakening, when he put his head on my chest, I would go *insert noise*
December 10, 2006 Spring Awakening opened Dec. 10, 2006, at the O’Neill. It went on to win Tonys for Best Musical and Best Featured Actor (John Gallagher, Jr.) and launched the careers of Lea Michele and Jonathan Groff.