Spring Awakening in Toronto

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It’s probably the best musical I’ve seen in a long time. It’s playing at the Canon Theatre in Toronto. Be prepared though, it has explicit sexual simulation, adult themes and coarse language. So what’s so good about it? Well it tells the story of young people struggling with becoming adults… sexuality, repression, power, evil, parents, consequences and the normal angst of life.  The story is one to which many of us can relate. One of the phrases that caught my attention was The Word of the Body. In a way this musical/play is the question to which The Theology of the Body is the response. The current reference to the Theology of the Body is about JPII’s talks about sexuality, marriage and the body. However, it has its roots in our Judeo-Christian tradition and is an important part of Franciscan spirituality. For Francis of Assisi… the fact that God became flesh… radically changes our understanding and respect for that which is flesh. Another interesting place to look at this is through the work of the French philosopher, Gabriel Marcel and his book Being and Having. His thesis is that our bodies are not some “thing” that we “have” but rather we “are”.

Anyways… if you can handle the explicit nature of the play… it is well worth your time and money. The cast is young and convincing. I really liked Christy Altomare, Blake Bashoff (who despite some reviews played the part in a way that you could identify with him) and Steffi D (from Canadian Idol).

Matt Doyle
Matt Doyle

In the show last Wednesday, Melchior was played by the understudy Matt Doyle. (also in TV’s Gossip Girls) I can’t imagine that part being played by anyone else than Doyle. He played his character with all his being… song, face, movement. Incredible. The choreagraphy and lighting are creative and the music… well, the music is not The Sound of Music… but it was very much about today. I loved the music.

There were times during the play when I was in tears. Be prepared for it to be challening and thought-provoking.

One comment

  1. Friar, can you tell us why a play featuring adultery, homosexuality and the championing of secular sex education would be valuable to Catholics? Could it be because all these things undermine the Church’s view of family? Just wondering

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