Bare: A Pop Opera

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Bare
A Pop Opera
Bare a Pop Opera Off Broadway Poster.JPG
Off-Broadway promotional poster
MusicDamon Intrabartolo
LyricsJon Hartmere
BookJon Hartmere
Damon Intrabartolo
PremiereOctober 14, 2000 (2000-10-14): Hudson Theatre, Los Angeles
Productions2000 Los Angeles
2004 Off-Broadway
2008 Houston
2008 Seattle
2008 Indianapolis
2009 Denver
2009 Toronto
2010 Sydney
2011 Minneapolis
2011 St. Louis
2011 Albany
2012 Manila
2012 Liverpool
2012 Belgium
2013 Los Angeles revival
2013 Off-West End
2014 Tokyo
2014 Barcelona
2014 Youngstown
2014 San Diego
2015 Seoul
2015 Medicine Hat
2016 Buenos Aires
2016 Tokyo revival
2016 Seoul revival
2016 Chicago
2016 Sydney
2017 Seoul revival2
2017 Brighton
2018 Amsterdam
2018 Melbourne
2018 Brisbane
2018 São Paolo
2019 London
2019 New York
2019 Hawaii
2019 Michigan
2020 Tokyo revival2
2020 Seoul revival3

Bare, also known as Bare: A Pop Opera, is a coming-of-age rock musical with music by Damon Intrabartolo, lyrics by Jon Hartmere, and a book by Hartmere and Intrabartolo. The story focuses on a group of high school students and their struggles at their private Catholic boarding school.

The musical was later revised as Bare: The Musical.

Productions[edit]

The musical debuted at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles, running from October 14, 2000 to February 25, 2001.[1] The New York production of Bare at the American Theatre of Actors Off-Broadway, ran from April 19 to May 27, 2004.[1] The Los Angeles and New York productions were both directed by Kristin Hanggi.

Bare had its Canadian premiere in summer 2009 at the Hart House Theatre, Toronto, directed by Bri Waters. Bare had its Sydney premiere in September 2010 at the New Theatre, as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival.

Bare had also been produced in the Philippines by the Ateneo de Manila University in 2009, with the initial run hosted by the undergraduate musical theatre organisation Ateneo Blue Repertory.

A new production of the original version has been produced again in Los Angeles, this time at the Hayworth Theatre. It opened on September 6, 2013, produced by Topher Rhys and Jamie Lee Barnard for glory|struck Productions, directed by Calvin Remsberg, choreographed by Jen Oundjian with musical direction by Elmo Zapp.[2]

On June 20, 2015, Bare had its Welsh premiere in Cardiff, at the YMCA Cardiff Theatre by Penny Productions, directed by Jay Coleman with musical direction by Connor Fogel.[needs update] This amateur production starred Glen Jordan as Peter, Scott Jenkins as Jason, Emily John as Ivy, Alice Urrutia as Nadia, Alex Reynolds as Sister Chantelle and Phil Paisey as the Priest.

On July 6, 2017, Bare made its premiere in Brighton, an established LGBTQ destination nicknamed the "unofficial gay capital of the UK".[3] Produced by Brief Hiatus, this production was directed by Conor Baum with choreography by Sarah-Leanne Humphreys, receiving critical acclaim.[4][5]

Synopsis[edit]

Act I[edit]

The Opera opens at a Mass on the Feast of the Epiphany in St Cecilia's Boarding School. Peter, an altar boy, is dozing off and having a nightmare in which he is outed as gay and condemned by everyone ("Epiphany"). After Mass, Peter encounters Jason, St Cecilia's resident golden boy who is also his roommate and secret lover; Jason tries to reassure Peter about their secret relationship ("You & I"). Peter suggests that Jason audition for Romeo and Juliet, but Jason refuses. Alone, Peter reflects on his anxieties about his relationship with Jason ("Role of a Lifetime").

At "Auditions," drama teacher Sister Chantelle is dismayed by the lack of adept actors until Jason shows up, to everyone's shock. He and Matt, another altar boy, battle for the part of Romeo. In the end, Jason is cast as Romeo, Ivy (Peter and Jason's friend, with whom Matt is in love) as Juliet, Peter as Mercutio, Matt as Tybalt, and Nadia (Jason's overweight, sharp-tongued twin sister) as the Nurse. Jason attempts to console his sister, who wanted to play Juliet ("Plain Jane Fat Ass"). Opening a belated birthday gift from their father, the siblings discover that Jason has been accepted into Notre Dame. The song was replaced with "Love, Dad" in the 2004 Off-Broadway production.

Later, Matt attempts to plan a small surprise birthday for Ivy. Lucas, the school's party boy, plans a trip to a rave, bringing along ecstasy and two other drugs (K and GHB) ("Wonderland"). Insecure about her appearance, especially compared to the scantily-clad Ivy, Nadia decides to spend ("A Quiet Night at Home") instead.

At the rave, Peter dances with Jason and Ivy with Matt ("Rolling"). Peter tries to kiss Jason, who leads him outside. They argue over their secret relationship: Peter wants them to come out and make their relationship public but Jason is too afraid to be condemned and lose everything he has ("Best Kept Secret"). The two eventually reconcile and kiss, but unbeknownst to them, Matt has seen them together.

The next morning, the students gather for confession ("Confession.") While students are dismissive of the ritual, Matt and Peter yearn for guidance about their respective secrets–Matt about seeing the kiss and Peter about being gay. At play rehearsal, Sister Chantelle realizes she has her work cut out for her. After Nadia makes yet another joke about Ivy's promiscuity, Ivy reflects on the way her reputation defines and confines her ("Portrait of a Girl").

Matt's little birthday get-together for Ivy becomes a huge party, thanks to Nadia's hand in the planning ("Birthday, Bitch!"). Peter accidentally eats pot brownies and begins flirting with Jason. A drunk Ivy does the same and Jason chooses her over Peter to save face, making Peter storm off. Matt also leaves when Ivy ignores his advances. Ivy asks Jason to kiss her as a birthday gift, and he reluctantly agrees ("One Kiss").

Matt leaves the party to sit alone with a bottle of wine, expressing his frustration while Peter is nearby doing the same. They share a drink and bond over their similar frustrations ("Are You There?"). An inebriated Peter tells Matt the secret of his relationship with Jason. While Matt heads to bed, Peter dreams of the Virgin Mary, in the form of Sister Chantelle, telling him that he needs to come out to his mother ("911! Emergency!").

At rehearsals, Romeo and Tybalt's fight scene becomes real as Matt abandons the script and tackles Jason, calling him a slur. They are separated by an angry Sister Chantelle ("Reputation Stain'd"). Peter tells Jason about his vision and asks him to come home with him for Spring Break, to help him come out to his mother. Jason panics, afraid of what his father might do if he ever found out, and breaks up with Peter ("Ever After").

Later, Nadia sings a sardonic song she wrote about spring ("Spring.") Peter leaves for Spring Break without a word to Jason, and Ivy shows up at Jason's dormitory room to apologize for her actions on her birthday. When Jason tells her it was cute, Ivy admits that she really does like Jason and hopes for more. While Peter and Matt pine for their respective loves and Nadia wishes to be noticed, Jason sleeps with Ivy, hoping it is the right thing to do ("One").

Act II[edit]

The second act opens in the school chapel, decorated elaborately for Peter and Jason's wedding ("Wedding Bells"). The scene reveals itself to be Peter's nightmare, as the ceremony turns instead into Jason's wedding to Ivy. Later, class ranks are posted, and Jason has achieved the valedictorian spot, once again besting Matt ("In the Hallway").

Ivy tells Jason that though she has been with other boys before, he is her first true love ("Touch My Soul"). Jason, realizing that what Ivy is talking about is the way he feels about Peter, breaks up with her, leaving Ivy devastated.

Peter calls his mother Claire to come out but she continually evades the subject, though he suspects she already knows the truth ("See Me"). Claire hangs up, shaken at the confirmation of her fears but eventually recognizing that her love for him is stronger than her religious objections ("Warning").

Shortly before the play, Ivy misses rehearsals again, claiming to be sick. Her inept understudy, Diane, is forced to step in as Juliet but soon stumbles and forgets her lines. Peter takes over, and for a moment, all is well as Peter dances with Jason ("Pilgrim's Hands"). Ivy appears at the end of the rehearsal and pulls Jason aside, insisting that they need to speak. Unable to deter her, he agrees to meet her later that evening, before the student-led rehearsal. Back in the rehearsal room, Sister Chantelle tells Peter that she knows what has been bothering him–that he is gay–and assures him that he is just as God wanted him to be ("God Don't Make No Trash").

Nadia returns to her dormitory and argues with Ivy about missing rehearsals. She assumes it was simply because Jason broke up with her, but Ivy reveals that she is pregnant with his child ("All Grown Up"). Ivy finds Jason practicing his valedictory address in the auditorium and explains that she is pregnant and still hopes he might learn to love her back. Matt enters and reveals to Ivy that the reason why Jason cannot love her is because he is still in love with Peter. Peter and Nadia arrive and Peter, Jason and Matt exchange heated words. Upset over the news of Ivy's pregnancy and refusing to deny the truth any longer, Peter admits that he told Matt about their relationship and is not sorry that he shared the secret. The other students, gathered in the auditorium waiting for rehearsals to begin, have heard everything ("Promise"). Everyone leaves, leaving Peter and Jason alone. Jason begs Peter for help; Peter says he tried to help and leaves. Distraught, Jason reflects on his relationship with Peter, and how even through his fear, he knows that it is the only thing that will comfort him ("Once Upon a Time"). With nowhere else to go, Jason goes to confession to ask the priest if God still loves him and can forgive him. The priest ultimately says that Jason will only be accepted if he denies his natural feelings ("Cross").

During rehearsal, Lucas passes out the drug orders and tells Jason that they're still cool. Jason tells Peter that he talked to the priest about their relationship, trying to show Peter that he still cares for him ("Two Households"). Jason asks Peter to run away with him, but Peter refuses to run and thus tells him it's over, as he's had his fill of hiding and running away. Jason, thinking that means he's lost Peter for good, takes a large dose of GHB. As the school play begins, Jason again pulls Peter aside, telling him that he has loved him since they first met; Peter tells him he loves him too and reassures him that their parting is not a permanent goodbye ("Bare"). The lovers kiss.

During the show, Jason becomes increasingly disoriented, and while Peter is delivering the Queen Mab speech ("Queen Mab"), he loses his place and begins to hallucinate. During the masked ball scene, he collapses and reaches for Peter, who holds him as he dies ("A Glooming Peace"). Peter goes to Confession, confronting the priest about Jason's last visit. Peter accuses the priest of hiding behind a screen and failing to show Jason compassion, when it was their love that brought them closest to God ("Absolution").

At graduation, Peter, Matt, Ivy, and Nadia wonder whether or not they could have prevented Jason's death and consider the role they played in it. The graduates all move forward into a world that will yield more questions than answers ("No Voice").

Characters and original casts[edit]

Character(s) Los Angeles (2000) [1][6][7] Off-Broadway (2004) [8] Studio Recording (2007) [9][10] Los Angeles Revival (2013) [11]
Peter Simonds John Torres Michael Arden Matt Doyle Payson Lewis
Jason McConnell John Griffin John Hill James Snyder Jonah Platt
Ivy Robinson Jenna Leigh Green Lindsay Pearce
Nadia McConnell Keili Lefkovitz Natalie Joy Johnson Keili Lefkovitz Katie Stevens
Matt Lloyd Wallace Smith Aaron Lohr Christopher Johnson Nathan Parrett
Sister Chantelle/Virgin Mary Stephanie Andersen Romelda T. Benjamin Stephanie Andersen
Claire Maura M. Knowles Kaitlin Hopkins Alissa-Nicole Koblentz
Priest Mark Edgar Stephens Jim Price John Griffin
Lucas Carter Philip Dean Lightstone Adam Fleming Jason Ryterband Casey Hayden
Tanya Garrett/Cherub Charity Hill Sasha Allen Judith Hill Caitlin Ary
Diane Lee Jennie Kwan Kay Trinidad Kara Maguire Reesa Ishiyama
Kyra/Cherub (named Brittany in 2000 Los Angeles production) Tassa Hampton Kearran Giovanni Carmel Echols Katherine Washington
Zack Reed Prescott Mike Cannon Nils Montan Christopher Higgins
Rory N/A Lindsay Scott Anna Rose Kelsey Hainlen
Alan N/A Isaac Calpito Joel Echols Harrison Meloeny

Musical numbers[edit]

† Cut from the 2004 Off-Broadway production and replaced with "Love, Dad"

‡ Replaced "Mother Love" from the 2000 Los Angeles production [12][6]

Album[edit]

An 11-song CD sampler featuring the 2004 New York cast was offered to every ticket buyer during the final performances of the Off-Broadway run. The full studio album from Bare, produced by Deborah Lurie and Casey Stone, was released on October 30, 2007, as a three-disc CD + DVD set. The 2012–2013 production was announced to be releasing a cast album.[13] This however, did not occur, as the revival closed very quickly, amid poor reviews and public response.

Planned film adaptation[edit]

On January 2, 2018, it was announced that "bare" would be made into a motion picture, directed by Kristin Hanggi and produced by Hillary Butorac Weaver and Janet Billig Rich. Hanggi will adapt the screenplay for the film. No release date has been set.[14] As of September 2021 the official announcement came that Bare is finally in the filming stage. Now fans are left to wonder just how long until release date is announced. [15][16][17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Gioia, Michael (October 12, 2015). "Bare Casts Remember the Pop Opera That Rocked L.A. and NYC With Memories and Never-Before-Seen Pics!". Playbill. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
  2. ^ "Damon Intrabartolo-Jon Hartmere Pop Opera Bare Will Return to Los Angeles". Playbill. Archived from the original on June 23, 2013.
  3. ^ "Sorry Bristol, Brighton is probably the best city in the UK – Metro News". Metro. March 25, 2014. Retrieved August 10, 2015.
  4. ^ "Latest reviews Bare at One Church Brighton". The Latest. July 7, 2017. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  5. ^ "Susex Playwrights reviews Bare at One Church Brighton". The Latest. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  6. ^ a b "Bare". October 25, 2000.
  7. ^ "Bare: A Pop Opera at Hudson Mainstage Theatre 2000-2001".
  8. ^ "Playbill + Bare a Pop Opera + Michael Arden , John Hill + Demo CD with 11 songs | #440638762".
  9. ^ "bare: The Album". barethealbum.com.
  10. ^ "Studio Cast Album of bare on Sale Oct. 30". October 16, 2007.
  11. ^ "PHOTO CALL: Meet the Cast of the L.A. Return of Pop Opera Bare, Starring Lindsay Pearce, Payson Lewis and Jonah Platt". July 22, 2013.
  12. ^ "Bare Facts | TheaterMania".
  13. ^ "bare: The Album". barethealbum.com.
  14. ^ BWW News Desk (January 2, 2018). "bare Will Navigate to the Big Screen; Kristin Hanggi Set to Direct Film". www.broadwayworld.com. Broadway World. Retrieved February 17, 2019.
  15. ^ "Bare: A Pop Opera Film Adaptation in the Works". Playbill. January 2, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  16. ^ "Logo 🏳️🌈 (@LogoTV) on Twitter". newnownext.com. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  17. ^ "Bare". barethemovie.com. Retrieved October 4, 2018.

External links[edit]