Last November, the original cast and creative team behind the eight-time Tony-winning smash Spring Awakening came together for a one-night-only concert doubling as a pandemic-era benefit for The Actors Fund. Promoted as an “emotional, star-studded tribute to the groundbreaking musical,” footage recorded at the reunion factors into a new documentary from the same producers behind David Byrne’s American Utopia and that will also air on HBO and then stream on HBO Max starting next week.
Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known relates the show’s underdog origins and path to Tony glory, universal themes of teenage repression and angst, and what a press release calls “the unconventional love story of breakout stars Jonathan Groff and Lea Michele.”
Back in 2006, years before Glee, Groff and Michele played leading roles in the large but mostly unknown, mostly teenage cast, all coming together and betting on this new edgy and provocatively themed rock musical set in the 1890s.
Other featured participants include John Gallagher Jr., Lauren Pritchard, Lilli Cooper, Skylar Astin, Gerard Canonico, Jennifer Damiano, Christine Estabrook, Gideon Glick, Robert Hager, Brain C. Johnson, Krysta Rodriguez, Stephen Spinella, Phoebe Strole, Jonathan B. Wright, and Remy Zaken.
The HBO Documentary Film, directed by Michael John Warren and produced by RadicalMedia, weaves in coverage from the 15th anniversary reunion with performances captured from the original production, as well as newly filmed interviews and candid archival video and photographs. The musical’s original director, Bethesda native Michael Mayer, who directed the recent revival of Funny Girl, lyricist and playwright Steven Slater, composer Duncan Sheik, and lead producers Tom Hulce and Ira Pittelman also appear. Debuts Tuesday, May 3, at 9 p.m. on HBO. Visit www.hbo.com.