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GLOUCESTER — “Spring Awakening,” Duncan Sheik and Steven Sater’s Tony Award-winning hit musical, is set in 19th-century Germany, but it has an achingly contemporary feel. In the Gloucester Stage Company production, its tale of adolescent frustration, lust, and longing packs an unnerving emotional punch.
Director Eric C. Engel and musical director Catherine Stornetta have assembled a cast with vocal prowess that spans from the novice to the operatic — a range that only illuminates the variety of personalities onstage. It also amplifies the tension around the odds of their survival in their repressed provincial community.
Adapted from Frank Wedekind’s 1906 play of the same name, “Spring Awakening” retains the drama’s original 1890s setting but allows the performers to assume contemporary attitudes and slang when they sing.