The musical has earned a cult following since its award-winning Los Angeles staging and its subsequent sold-out, five-week Off-Broadway run. Plans for a wider New York City life fell through in 2004, but a studio recording was made, attracting fresh international fans.
With book and music by Damon Intrabartolo and book and lyrics by Jon Hartmere, bare in Toronto boasts a cast of 19 actors at Hart House Theatre. The cast includes many college-age performers, adding an authenticity to the proceedings.
The Toronto production is directed by WatersEdge artistic director Brian Gregory-Waters.
Here's how the work is billed: "Tackling themes of teen sexuality, religious angst, and unrelenting social and family pressure…bare explores the realities facing many of today's teens. With a ceaseless and haunting rock and pop score, this contemporary musical pulses with energy and heartache as it tells the tale of five students at a co-ed Catholic boarding school facing the turmoil of their teenage years. Forced to confront coming of age, coming out, and coming to terms with expectations of parents, peers and the Church, they question where they are in their lives and what the future holds as they struggle to find their own voices."
The bare company includes David Alves (Ensemble); Alex Dvorak (Alan; Peter, at certain performances); Nicholas Fedele (Zach, u/s Jason, Lucas); Jeremy LaPalme (Priest); Nichola Lawrence (Sister Chantelle); Amanda Milligan (Diane, u/s Ivy); Wade Muir (Peter); Alison O'Neill (Ivy); Graham Parkhurst (Jason); Travis Paul (Lucas); Claire Rouleau (Nadia); Antonette Rudder (Tanya); David Sazant (Matt); Cory Strong (Ensemble, u/s Matt, Priest); Sarah Thorpe (Rory, u/s Nadia, Tanya); Renee Stein (Claire); Emma VanBuskirk (Ensemble, u/s Diane, Rory); and Louisa Zhu (Kyra). The Toronto creative team includes Ryan Blair (assistant director), Chris Tsujiuchi (music director), Denise Christof (producer/production manager), Nikki Tamlin (stage manager), Brett Kelly (assistant stage manager), Michele Shuster (choreographer), Cameron Carver (assistant choreographer), Fiona German (sound design) and John De Simini (conductor).
Bare received its world-premiere staging at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles, CA, in 2000 and was produced Off-Broadway in 2004. In L.A., it won the 2001 LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Musical Score, and the LA Weekly Award for Best Original Score & Best Musical.
The 2007 release of "bare the album," a studio recording of the entire show, was made available through www.barethealbum.com and then went wide on iTunes.
Hart House Theatre is located at 7 Hart House Circle. Performances play Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday at 8 PM, plus a 2 PM matinee.
For tickets and more information, call (416) 978-8849 or visit www.uofttix.ca or www.watersedgeproductions.net.
WatersEdge Productions "is committed to staging socially conscious plays and musicals while also giving young artists an opportunity to perform in a professional environment."