With a cast made up almost entirely of college students and recent graduates, there is no lack of youthful energy on stage. [Vincent] Kempski’s Melchior is as reserved as he is passionate, introverted as well as charismatic. Audiences can sympathize with him because as much as he keeps bottled up inside, his outbursts of emotion let you in on who this young man really is. The performance of [Ali] Hoxie captures Wendla’s childish curiosity while never seeming annoyingly ignorant. Hoxie makes the character a dreamer, not content with what little she knows. It is [Paul] Scanlan’s performance as Moritz that makes this musical truly great, as the young vocal powerhouse sings every song as if it was his last and creates a character that is hauntingly deranged as he struggles to deal with life and all of its many troubles.
The rest of the cast offer wonderful performances, both from an acting and singing standpoint. Each of the teenage characters is believable and real, while the adults are played as cruel stereotypes of authority figures.
Featuring stellar lighting design by Allan Sean Weeks and under the musical direction of Jake Null, audiences are treated to a concert-esque experience during musical numbers, full of colorful, spinning lights and rock and roll guitar chord and drum beats.