Spring Awakening Debuts in Chicago

AUGUST 5, 2009 (PRESS RELEASE) Spring Awakening swept the 2007 Tony Awards® winning eight out of its eleven nominations, including Best Musical, Best Director (Michael Mayer), Best Book (Steven Sater), Best Choreography (Bill T. Jones), Best Orchestrations (Duncan Sheik), Best Lighting Design (Kevin Adams), Best Featured Actor (John Gallagher Jr.).

Based on the 1891 Frank Wedekind play, Spring Awakening features an electrifying score by Duncan Sheik, book and lyrics Steven Sater, direction by Michael Mayer and choreography by the award-winning Bill T. Jones.

The Spring Awakening national tour features Jake Epstein (Melchoir), known for his work as "Craig" on the hit television series "Degrassi: The Next Generation;" Steffi D (Ilse), a Top 5 Finalist from the 2006 Canadian Idol; and Naperville, native, Gabrielle Garza (Anna). Members from the Broadway cast who will be performing in the National Tour include Blake Bashoff (Moritz), Ben Lively (Violin/Guitar), and Matt Shingledecker (Georg).

The SPRING AWAKENING national tour cast also features Christy Altomare (Wendla), Kimiko Glenn (Thea), Sarah Hunt (Martha), Anthony Lee Medina (Otto), Andy Mientus (Hanschen), Ben Moss (Ernst), Angela Reed (Adult Women) and Henry Stram (Adult Men). Additional cast members include Krystina Alabado, Julie Benko, Todd Cerveris, Chase Davidson, Kate Hampton, Krista Pioppi and Lucas A. Wells.

The SPRING AWAKENING band includes Alon Bisk (Cello), Freddy Hall (Guitar), Kristen Lee Rosenfeld (Associate Conductor), Jared Stein (Musical Director), Mark Verdino (Bass), Marques Walls (Percussion), and Karen Waltuch (Viola).

Set against the backdrop of a repressive and provincial late 19th century Germany, Spring Awakening tells the timeless story of teenage self-discovery and budding sexuality as seen through the eyes of three teenagers. Haunting and provocative, Spring Awakening celebrates an unforgettable journey from youth to adulthood with a power, a poignancy and a passion you will never forget.

Set design is by Christine Jones, costume design is by Tony Award-winner Susan Hilferty, lighting design by Tony Award-winner Kevin Adams and sound design by Brian Ronan.

Spring Awakening opened on Broadway on December 10, 2006 at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, following its world premiere at the Atlantic Theatre Co. The original cast recording of Spring Awakening won the 2008 Grammy Award for Best Musical Show Album. Spring Awakening is produced by Ira Pittelman, Tom Hulce, Jeffrey Richards, Jerry Frankel and the Atlantic Theatre Co.

SPRING AWAKENING is a powerful coming of age story with mature themes: sexual situations, partial nudity and strong language.

Individual tickets range in price from $25 to $95. A select number of premium seats are also available. Tickets are available at all Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (24 W. Randolph St., 151 W. Randolph St. and 18 W. Monroe St.); the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (312) 902-1400; all Ticketmaster retail locations (including Hot Tix and select Carson Pirie Scott, Coconuts and fye stores); and online at www.BroadwayInChicago.com. Tickets are available to groups of 20 or more by calling (312) 977-1710.

For information, visit www.SpringAwakening.com or www.BroadwayInChicago.com


Steffi D, short for DiDomenicantonio, is a passionate individual with a true love for the performing arts and is thrilled to be portraying Ilse in the National Tour of Spring Awakening. Her mind and heart being set on musical theatre and a career on Broadway, she started training as an actor and singer as early as age 9.

As an actor, she performed in her hometown (Ottawa, Ontario, Canada) in several plays such as The Miracle Worker (as Helen Keller), Angel Vicarious, Angel Square, Spoon River Anthology, Grand-peur et misère du IIIe Reich. During her high school years attending a school for the performing arts, she was surprisingly cast as Jean Valjean in Les Misérables.

She is also seen on the small screen, in commercials, interviews and is currently cast as Audrey in a French Television Series called Moitié Moitié going on to its 3rd and 4th seasons of filming. She also recorded the theme song for the show.

Thanks to a friend, she found a new skill in puppeteering and has performed musical puppet shows at different events and fundraisers, establishing Puppets and People Productions. They performed a puppet show entitled Steffi's Picnic at various events around the city and at the International Festival of Puppetry.

Through all this she participated in several competitions in different categories such as musical theatre and speech arts, bringing home trophies and scholarships and has been the winner of the speech arts category for 2 years at the provincial level.

In 2006, Steffi received first prize in a provincial young playwright contest of the French theatres of Ontario for her play entitled Un Compte de Fee. A professional staged reading of her play occurred on April 30, 2007, in Toronto.

Also in 2006, Steffi took a chance and auditioned for Canadian Idol Season 4. With millions of votes, she made it all the way to the Top 5 of that season. She worked and performed with stars such as Cindy Lauper, Dennis DeYoung, Roger Hodgson, Martina McBride and Nelly Furtado.

She recently completed a year of intense training at George Brown Theatre School in Toronto before getting cast in the national tour of Spring Awakening.


Blake Bashoff is one of today's most talented young artists of stage and screen. Born and raised in Philadelphia, Blake began his career when he was ten years old. Forty commercials in two-and-a-half years earned him the nickname the "Commercial Kid" of New York.

Blake's first theatrical venture had him singing and dancing in a short film, Under the Sea, filmed in Japan for the 1992 World Expo. He also displayed his vocal and dancing abilities in Twist, a modern musical adaptation of Oliver, at Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre.Blake quickly moved into television with guest spots on Saturday Night Live and Caroline's Comedy Club.

In his first dramatic role for TV, Blake starred in A Child Betrayed: The Calvin Mire Story for HBO. The controversial, true story of an altar boy's abuse went on to win four Emmy Awards. Before breaking into feature films, Blake guest starred on NBC's Law and Order and FOX's New York Undercover.

Blake's first trip to Hollywood was in 1994 to film 20th Century Fox's Bushwhacked, where he starred as the leader of a group of scouts caught in an action-packed comedy-adventure. Soon after, Blake filmed Big Bully for Morgan Creek and Warner Brothers. His performance earned him the 1997 Young Artist Award for Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film. Blake's next project took him to the Caribbean where he filmed The New Swiss Family Robinson, a modern-day remake of the original classic, for ABC's Wonderful World of Disney.

After graduating high school in 1999, Blake moved to Hollywood where he's kept busy with both film and TV work. He appeared in two motion pictures released in 2002: Deuce's Wild and Minority Report. Other films include The Newman Shower, a production of the American Film Institute, and Together Again for the First Time. TV guest star credits include Pensacola: Wings of Gold, WB's Dead Last and Charmed, ABC's Miracles, FOX's Boston Public, NBC's The Lyon's Den, and CBS' Without A Trace, Numb3rs and NCIS. Blake also teamed up with Chris Keyser and Amy Lippman (Party of Five) for the SONY/FOX pilot No Place Like Home.

Recurring roles include the CW's One Tree Hill, CBS' Judging Amy as teen runaway Eric Black, and ABC's Lost as Karl.In December 2007 Blake fulfilled a lifelong dream and made his Broadway debut at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre as Moritz Stiefel in Spring Awakening, winner of 8 Tony Awards including Best Musical. He is currently reprising his performance for audiences across America, heading the cast of the first National Tour.Blake is a proud member of SAG, AFTRA and Actors' Equity. He is repped by Wendi Green and Jennifer Millar of Abrams Artists and Maani Golesorkhi of Bluestone Entertainment.

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