Lea Michele Says 'Spring Awakening' Doc Reunion Started With a Group Text (Exclusive)
By Mona Khalifeh
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It all started with a text! Lea Michele spoke to ET's Lauren Zima at the Tony Awards Sunday night about what it took to bring the gang back together for the documentary, Spring Awakening: Those You've Known.
"And this all started -- we were on a group text together, and we've been on it for many years," Michele began. "And one of our cast members, Lauren [Pritchard], said, 'We should all reunite and get back together,' and now here we are, at the Tony's."
She continued, "It's just wild, being here, all of us, all together. We managed to get the entire original cast together. "We managed to get through the hurdles of COVID and everything and reunite and come together. And we're just so honored to be back."
The production, which first premiered Off-Broadway in 2006, gained a sort of cult-like following that launched the careers of Michele, John Gallagher Jr. and Jonathan Groff, who joined Michele on the carpet ahead of the 75th annual awards show.
When asked what the trio would tell their younger selves about the show's success, Groff told ET he would tell them to "take it in."
"I would tell them to take it in," Groff said. "And you know what, we did take it in back then, we really did. Because so many of the adults in the theatre community and Michael Mayer, our director, they were keeping us very grounded and, in the moment, but if I were to experience it all again, I would just take it in all over again."
Michele and Gallagher agreed, with the Modern Love actor adding that he would savor the moments the cast and crew had "pre-iPhone."
"Savor the time pre-iPhone. We didn't have any iPhones," Gallagher added. "There was no checking our phones, we just watched the show and experienced it in real-time. I miss that. Simpler times."
The cast has not only kept in touch over the last 16 years, but they've also remained friends, something evidenced in their HBO doc -- which debuted on the streamer last month.
"That's what this documentary, called Spring Awakening: Those You've Known that's on HBO, tells the story of the show, but it also tells our story -- of the night that we slept out of the theatre together for John's last performance, how the Tony's actually saved our show and made it a hit. And so, it's really personal to come back here today to celebrate 15 years later."
The group, who are joining their OG cast for a revival performance at the 75th annual awards show, said while the performance is sure to be an emotional one, it's going to be fun too.
"I had a lovely little glass of champagne with Lauren Pritchard before the carpet. We are also moms. Our sons were born the exact same month. Sometimes, it's just about getting ready, but then relaxing, taking a deep breath and being like, 'Let's just have fun.'"
Unfolding over four hours live coast to coast, the 2022 Tony Awards kick off at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT with the one-hour special on Paramount+, The Tony Awards: Act One hosted by Darren Criss and Julianne Hough. That will be followed by the annual ceremony honoring the best of Broadway, which will air on CBS and Paramount+ starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT.