By Kenneth Jones
01 Aug 2007
The musical set in a Catholic high school is ripe with themes of forbidden love, alienation and spiritual confusion. It has a book by Jon Hartmere & Damon Intrabartolo, music by Intrabartolo and lyrics by Hartmere. Fans of a developmental Off-Broadway run in spring 2004 cheered it as being an heir to Rent in style and passion. A plan for a fall 2004 move to Off-Broadway was announced, but the show (then subtitled A Pop Opera) never materialized.
The new recording is produced by Deborah Lurie and Casey Stone. Vocal director is Eric Anderson. Orchestrations and arrangements are by Lurie. The singers of the recording have not been announced. The new recording reflects rewrites made since 2004.
Executive Producers are John Ottman, TRW and Jonathan Tessero. Theatrical Rights Worldwide (www.theatricalrights.com) handles licensing for the show. Bailiwick Repertory Theatre in Chicago is among theatres that have announced the show for its 2007-08 season; a production will play Edison Valley Playhouse in New Jersey as well.
This is not a cast album of the earlier Los Angeles or New York productions — it's a studio recording of the show in its entirety, not tied to any previous or present productions, according to notes by the producers. It reflects the licensed version of the show.
The recording will be available at barethealbum.com, CD Baby and on iTunes starting Sept. 25.
The track listing follows.
1. Epiphany (Company)
2. You & I ( Jason, Peter & Students)
3. Role of a Lifetime (Peter)
4. Auditions (Sister Chantelle & Students)
5. Plain Jane Fat Ass (Nadia & Jason)
6. Wonderland (Lucas, Nadia, Ivy, Jason, Peter, Matt & Tanya)
7. A Quiet Night at Home (Nadia)
9. Best Kept Secret (Peter & Jason)
10. Confession (Students & Priest)
11. Portrait of a Girl (Ivy & Jason)
12. Birthday, Bitch! (Students)
13. One Kiss (Ivy & Jason)
14. Are You There? (Peter & Matt)
15. 911! Emergency! (Virgin Mary & Cherubs)
16. Reputation Stain'd (Matt, Jason, Ivy, Nadia, Peter)
17. Ever After (Peter & Jason)
18. Spring (Nadia)
19. One (Ivy, Jason, Nadia, Matt, Peter)
1. Wedding Bells (Company)
2. Touch My Soul (Ivy & Jason)
3. See Me (Peter & Claire)
4. Warning (Claire)
5. Pilgrim's Hands (Jason & Peter)
6. God Don't Make No Trash (Sister Chantelle)
7. All Grown Up (Ivy)
8. Promise (Jason, Ivy, Matt, Peter, Nadia)
9. Once Upon a Time (Jason)
10. Cross (Priest & Jason)
11. Two Households (Sister Chantelle & Students)
12. Bare (Jason & Peter)
13. Queen Mab (Jason & Peter)
14. A Glooming Peace (Students)
15. Absolution (Peter & Priest)
16. No Voice (Company)
Enthusiastic audiences at The American Theatre of Actors prompted an extension of the show when it played a test run Off-Broadway in 2004. It ran March 25-May 27, 2004, at the same space that housed Urinetown just before its Broadway move. Bare was shepherded at the time by the powerful producers Dodger Stage Holding and Jack Grossbart/Marc Schwartz, and had a Broadway-caliber design team.
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 were 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.
The New York run was directed by Kristin Hanggi and choreographed by Sergio Trujillo.
The New York 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 how Bare was billed at the time: "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."
The design team featured David Gallo (scenic), David Woolard (costumes), Mike Baldassari (lighting) and Domonic Sack (sound).
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.