As the musical Spring Awakening gradually morphs from edgy downtown show made good to bona fide Broadway "long run" industry, note the shifting marketing strategies to start reaching audiences of more conventional tastes:
For every generation there is a story of young love against all odds, a story of longing and wanting that haunts us forever. For this generation it's SPRING AWAKENING, the ground-breaking, heart-breaking musical that has rocked the theatre world to its core. And now this timeless love story, told by a soulful and exuberant cast has Broadway falling in love again.What, not "confused deadly young lust against all odds"? That didn't test well?
Wait, then there's this copy that ran in the print edition of last Sunday's Times Arts & Leisure with a photo of a dreamy Wendla leaning on Melchior's shoulder:
There's a reason you never forget your first love.Didn't wanna go with "never forget your first rape," eh?
Oh sorry, I forgot. There is no rape in the musical. Never mind.
Photo above is typical of the new ads. Note it's her hand moving on him, it's she seemingly initiating the kiss. He's passive.
Check the end of Wedekind's Act II, scene iv and you'll find something quite different:
Wendla - - Nicht küssen, Melchior! - Nicht küssen!Even if you don't know German, you get the idea.
Melchior - Dein Herz - hör' ich schlagen -
Wendla - Man liebt sich - wenn man küßt - - - - - - - Nicht, nicht! - - -
Melchior O glaub mir, es gibt keine Liebe! Alles Eigennutz, alles Egoismus!* - Ich liebe dich so wenig, wie du mich liebst.
Wendla - Nicht! - - - Nicht, Melchior! - -
Melchior - - - Wendla!
Wendla O Melchior! - - - - - - - - - nicht - - nicht - -
(Sorry, it's the only full text I could find online.)
*For the record, this sentence translates as: "O believe me, there is no love. All selfishness, all egoism!" Too Nietzschean for a Duncan Sheik song?
I know we've debated here before the right of the musicals' creators to make their own art of this. I get that. And fair to say this further "mainstreaming" of the story is the handiwork of the advertisers.
Still, just sayin'...