Chicago's Bailiwick Has Its Cast for bare, to Run Through Jan. 27, 2008

News   Chicago's Bailiwick Has Its Cast for bare, to Run Through Jan. 27, 2008 Bailiwick Repertory in Chicago has announced casting for the Windy City premiere of bare, the rock musical about kids coming of age in a Catholic boarding school. Performances begin Dec. 13.

The Jon Hartmere and Damon Intrabartolo musical had a West Coast run and then a 2004 Off-Broadway production that was poised to be expanded for a larger life in Manhattan, but producers' plans did not pan out. A three-disc studio-cast album of the show's score will be available Oct. 30. Visit www.barethealbum.com.

The property, which overflows with all the confusion, hormones, aches, pains and joys of being 16 (and raised in a repressed environment) is now licensed through Theatrical Rights Worldwide (www.theatricalrights.com) and is expected to have a wide life in regional and university theatre.

Observers of the show in New York in 2004 called the score melodic and crafty, full of genuine rock, and likely to please the crowds who grew up on Rent. With the collapse of a commercial plan for bare in New York, the next rock youthquake show to make an impact both Off-Broadway and on would be 2006-07's Spring Awakening.

The musical bare has a book by Jon Hartmere and Damon Intrabartolo, with music by Damon Intrabartolo and lyrics by Jon Hartmere. It will begin Dec. 13 at the respected, award-winning non-Equity Bailiwick. Opening is Dec. 17 for a run through Jan. 27, 2008.

Bailiwick Repertory's artistic director David Zak (who staged Bailiwick's Jerry Springer – the Opera) will direct Don Denton (Jerry Springer – the Opera) and Jay Reynolds, Jr. (currently Tank in Bailiwick's Zanna, Don't!) as the two troubled gay teens, Jason and Peter, respectively. The cast features Kathleen Gibson as Nadia, Kristen Johnson as Ivy, Courtney Crouse as Matt and Michele Cason as Chantelle. The ensemble includes Erik Kaiko, Tom McGunn, Edward Fraim, Kristen O'Connor, John Taflan, Yolanda Davis, Lise (Kat) Evans, Nancy Kolton and Ryan Lanning. The musical director is James Morehead, with assistance from Robert Ollis. Christie Kerr will choreograph.

According to Bailiwick, bare — yes, the writers prefer the title to be in all-lowercase letters — is a dramatic musical set in a Catholic boarding school and "explores the impact of family and the church on American youth. Peter and Jason find joy and young love in each other's companionship, but their love has to be kept secret. When their first kiss is witnessed by another boy at school and their affair becomes public, a complex series of events spins their lives out of control. This groundbreaking work, originally billed as a 'pop opera,' deals with such pertinent topics as teenage drug use, teen pregnancy, confused sexuality and pressures from family and institutionalized religion."

Fro more information, visit www.bailiwick.org.

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Founded in 1982, Bailiwick Repertory is dedicated to "reflecting on our stages the diversity of our world in works ranging from classics to world premieres. Our Primary Series features plays and musicals — many by Chicago authors — appealing to the traditional theatregoer, while our Community Based Initiatives — Pride Series, Directors Fest, Summer Youth Initiative, and Second Sex Series featuring women in prominence — develop new artists and audiences. Bailiwick has earned over 150 Jeff Recommendations and Citations, including Best Musical Awards for the last three seasons for the world premiere of Dr. Sex, the Chicago premiere of Parade and a revival of Kiss of the Spider Woman.

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