Secrets and Sacraments: Bare: A Pop Opera To Begin Commercial Off-Bway Run Sept. 22

News   Secrets and Sacraments: Bare: A Pop Opera To Begin Commercial Off-Bway Run Sept. 22
 
Bare: A Pop Opera, the rock musical that has satisfied audiences who couldn't get enough of Rent, resumes performances in commercial run Off-Broadway Sept. 22 as the first officially-announced show in the new Dodger Stages.

The show's limited test run Off-Broadway in spring will soon blossom into a larger open-ended experience. Dodger Stages is the new beehive of spaces at 340 W. 50th Street, underneath Worldwide Plaza (where a movieplex used to operate). Bare is thought to be aimed at the complex's 499-seat house.

Tickets for Bare are on sale now via Telecharge.com.

The musical has a rock score by Damon Intrabartolo with lyrics by Jon Hartmere Jr and a book by Hartmere and Intrabartolo. Set in the insular world of a Catholic boarding school, the show follows the lives and loves of teens in their senior year of high school. Sexuality, loneliness, drug use, peer pressure, jealousy and parents are all factors in Bare, which, in style and tone, feels like the fresh faced cousin of Jonathan Larson's Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent.

Kristin Hanggi directs. She told Playbill On-Line that refinements and rewrites for the show are being explored this summer before the fall return.

Almost a dozen songs from the score are available for free downloading at www.BareAPopOpera.com. Bare is produced by Dodger Stage Holding and Jack Grossbart/Marc Schwartz. Associate producers are William M. Apfelbaum and Amanda DuBois. Full casting will be announced shortly.

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The New York premiere of Bare: A Pop Opera, a new musical that explores the passions of Catholic school teens on the brink of adulthood, ended its developmental run Off-Broadway May 27.

Enthusiastic audiences at The American Theatre of Actors prompted an extension of the show to May 27. Shepherded by the powerful producers Dodger Stage Holding and Jack Grossbart/Marc Schwartz, the production — with a Broadway-caliber design team — began performances March 25 and opened April 19.

Sold-out houses (including the last two performances May 26 and 27) anticipated the fall commercial Off-Broadway transfer (for announced as Sept. 21).

The mostly sung-through show seemed to come out of nowhere, though it did win awards and fans in a Los Angeles run. Its collaborators are twentysomethings new to the American musical theatre scene. The original show they created in Bare might be thought of as a merging of Rent and "Dead Poets Society," but set in a Catholic boarding school. Sex, sexuality, self expression, guilt, jealously and religion all play into the plot, which overflows with the kind of urgency and intensity associated with being 17.

Director Kristin Hanggi and choreographer Sergio Trujillo created often arresting images in a New York staging that, though spartan, was confident within the confines of the small ATA space (the same West 54th Street space where Urinetown had its 2001 developmental run before Broadway).

The spring 2004 cast included Michael Arden, Jenna Leigh Green, Kearran Giovanni, John Hill, Natalie Joy Johnson, Aaron Lohr, Sasha Allen, Romelda Benjamin, Isaac Calpito, Mike Cannon, Adam Fleming, Kaitlin Hopkins, Jim Price, Lindsay Scott, Kay Trinidad and Scott Allgauer.

Here's Bare according to the producers: "Bare explores the pains and pleasures of five high school seniors at a co-ed Catholic boarding school as they struggle to grow up in these complicated, conflicted, contemporary times. Each of them question where they are in their lives. Answers are sought in the church confessional and in less formal venues including a stage, a rave, and a well-locked dorm room."

Associate producers are William M. Apfelbaum and Amanda DuBois.

The design team is David Gallo (scenic), David Woolard (costumes), Mike Baldassari (lighting) and Domonic Sack (sound). Music direction and orchestration were by Damon Intrabartolo. Music coordinator is John Miller. Vocal arrangements are by Jesser Vargas.

The musical won the L.A. Weekly Award for Best Musical, the Ovation Award for Best Musical and the L.A. Drama Critics Award for Best Score. When Bare was originally produced in Los Angeles, it was supposed to run for 32 performances at an 87-seat theatre on Santa Monica Boulevard. Four months later, it had become a multi award-winning sensation created by two 26-year-old writers and a 23-year-old director.

In the final performances of the ATA run, an 11-song CD sampler featuring the New York cast was offered to every ticket buyer. It was recorded by Sh-K-Boom's Kurt Deutsch. A plan for a complete cast album has not been announced, but a spokesman for Sh-K-Boom said its website (offering free download of the Bare highlights) has been getting a lot of Bare-related traffic. Visit www.sh-K-boom.com.

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