Broadway Features and Reviews
Broadway's Sweet 16 Spring Awakening
By Juliane Elizabeth Buntin
Sixteen-year old Emma Hunton recently made her Broadway debut in the musical phenomenon Spring Awakening. The show, which swept last year’s Tony© Awards with eight wins including best musical, is a vibrant adaptation of Frank Wedekind’s controversial nineteenth century play that deals with risqué themes of sexual discovery during adolescence. Hunton takes the stage as ‘Ilse’, a free spirit who escapes to a new bohemian life in this coming of age story about German teenagers.
Although she’s only sixteen, the newest and youngest cast member of Spring Awakening brings a strong resume to the table. Hunton’s career began at age eight, when she joined the national tour of Les Miserables as ‘young Cosette’. This impressive start launched a landslide of achievements for the budding actress - Hunton co-starred with Rita Wilson in Distracted at the Mark Taper Forum in LA, a nd acted alongside Maggie Gyllenhaal and Lisa Kudrow in the 2005 film Happy Endings.
The high-school junior was selected from hundreds of hopefuls at the Los Angeles auditions for Spring Awakening’s new ‘Ilse’. How does the rising star feel about joining the revered cast of the latest Broadway hit? " I'm excited and scared at the same time", Hunton said in a recent press report, " but I can't wait to go on.”
According to the buzz surrounding Hunton’s highly anticipated debut, audiences have just as much to be thrilled about as the young actress. One of the most fascinating aspects of Spring Awakening is the vivacity of the mostly under twenty-five talent who make the story breathe. Rarely are actors poised at exactly the right time in their lives to play certain roles, and watching Ilse’s story be brought to life by Hunton, with actress and character literally growing up together, will surely result in Broadway magic.