Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known is a documentary about an exceptional cast coming together for a very special musical once again.
If you were one of the lucky few who saw the Spring Awakening reunion show in New York, I’m jealous. But I can’t be too upset, given I accidentally saw the original cast on Broadway after they swept the 2007 Tony Awards. I happened to be living in Brooklyn, and my friend needed someone to go with. I had no idea what I was going to see. I knew the overplayed “barely breathing” guy (Duncan Sheik) wrote the music; I knew that the “young Barbara Streisand” (Lea Michelle) was in it. Oh, and I knew it was about sex. I wish I could say I appreciated it as much as I should have, but I didn’t.
I became a fan of the stars of Spring Awakening after they left Broadway. I discovered Lea Michelle and Jonathan Groff again during the first season of Glee. Skylar Astin popped up in Pitch Perfect, and John Gallagher, Jr. starred in one of my favorite indie films, Short Term 12, and HBO’s The Newsroom. It’s only now that I appreciate what I saw on that night so many years ago.
Coming back together…
I adored the HBO documentary Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known. All of the cast can still sing, and their dynamic is just as powerful now as it was when they were kids. The documentary is not the reunion concert. There are clips from the performance and rehearsal and the original run. But it’s the candid interviews, particularly with Groff and Michelle, that make the documentary so unique.