As soon as “Spring Awakening” cast member Chase Davidson hit the Fox Theatre Tuesday afternoon, the Dallas, Georgia native made a beeline for the second dress circle in the balcony.
From that vantage point, Davidson’s grandmother Gloria Adsock introduced him to the world of live theater, beginning at age three.
“It was just magical for me,” Davidson told us Tuesday night at the “Spring Awakening” cast party inside the Georgian Terrace ballroom where the Tony-winning Best Musical celebrated its Atlanta premiere.
Tonight, due to cast vacations this week, Davidson steps into the racy role of Hanschen.
And grandma is coming to the performance.
Given that the play (based on Frank Wedekind‘s banned 1891 play with a new rock score by singer-songwriter Duncan Sheik) openly deals with teen sexuality, masturbation, homosexuality, sexual abuse and abortion, is Davidson nervous?
After all, the musical’s second act showstopper is a rousing rocker titled “Totally Fucked.”
“No, my grandmother is an incredibly cool lady,” says Davidson. “She already knows the show and loves it. She’ll probably buy a ‘Spring Awakening’ key chain!”
Even with the requisite posted signage warning about the show’s explicit content, some theater goers appeared uneasy at Tuesday night’s performance.
Trailing a gray-haired couple out of the theater at intermission, Intel observed a husband shaking his head violently as his wife scolded: “Oh, like you never had those thoughts and feelings as a teenager. Maybe you’re just so old that you’ve forgotten!”
As the 15 to 22-year-old aged cast dug into a gorgeous cake at the party, theater vet John Wojka (who plays all the adult male roles in the play) told us he was surprised by the Fox’s intimate feel from the stage.
Wojka says he and the other cast members have memorized the points in the show where the faint-hearted typically depart.
“Surprisingly, some people leave during ‘The Dark I Know Well,'” he told us. The wrenching number details student Martha’s shocking admission to girlfriends that her father is sexually abusing her.
Despite the show’s occasional explicit content, both Wojka and Davidson say they love pushing those buttons night after night.
“It’s definitely not ‘Bye Bye Birdie’ or ‘The Sound of Music!'” cracks Davidson, laughing. “But I love it. I’ve been in 550 performances so far and I’m still entranced every night.”
“Spring Awakening” runs through Sunday at the Fox Theatre. For tickets, go to the Fox website.