Spring Awakening was so hard to describe – 1891 rock music, there’s children in it,” says star Jonathan Groff, who played Melchior, in the opening to the trailer for HBO documentary Spring Awakening: Those You’ve Known.

“The gay scene, abortion, the sex, the suicide – there was never anything like this that’s ever happened,“ says Lauren Pritchard-Cobb, who played Ilse in the original show.

The Tony Award-winning musical got off to a rocky start but became one of Broadway’s biggest hits after it premiered at the Eugene O’Neill Theater on December 10, 2006.

“For the years we worked on it, we were rejected everywhere and everyone thought we were out of our minds,” says writer Steve Sater.

“When we were in previews, we were losing money big time,” agrees composer Duncan Sheik. “It was a disaster.”

The special looks back on the musical and reunites the original cast – which includes Groff, Lea Michele and John Gallagher Jr.—for a one-night only concert.

The special premieres May 3 on HBO Max.

Tags: hbo spring awakening: those you've known

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