Stafford Arima, whose re-imagined Carrie was given an Off-Broadway life last season, directs Bare, a book musical that features music by Damon Intrabartolo, a book and lyrics by Jon Hartmere and additional songs by Hartmere and Lynne Shankel (Altar Boyz, Cry-Baby, Company). Intrabartolo is not attached to the current Off-Broadway staging, which will officially open Dec. 9.
Joining Trensch (Wicked) and Hite, who makes his Off-Broadway debut, as the main students at St. Cecilia's Boarding School are Elizabeth Judd (Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark) as Ivy, a misunderstood transfer student; Gerard Canonico (Spring Awakening) as Matt, who longs for a steady relationship with Ivy; and Barrett Wilbert Weed (Lysistrata Jones) as Nadia, the always-discontented sister of Jason.
New to the plot are the characters of Father Mike, played by Jerold E. Solomon (South Pacific), and Sister Joan, played by Missi Pyle (Boeing-Boeing), who oversee the high school's production of Romeo and Juliet. They replace similar characters from the 2004 staging — the Priest and Sister Chantelle, respectively.
Emmy Award nominee Travis Wall ("So You Think You Can Dance") provides movement for the piece. He explained that it's "expressive [and] definitely not a dance show… I was one of these characters five years ago, and [I remember] how dark I felt and how much I was trying to just get someone to hear me. I couldn't talk to anybody, and no one would listen to me, and [I was] always reaching out for that person who's not there, so I definitely pulled from that."
Tony Award-winning scenic designer Donyale Werle (Peter and the Starcatcher, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson) has painted the world of Bare in over 14,000 four-by-four inch Instagram pictures from the musical's fans as well as the cast and creatives. Other creative team members include costume designer Tristan Raines (Tribes, Murder in the First), Tony Award-winning lighting designer Howell Binkley (Jersey Boys, Memphis) and sound designer Keith Caggiano (Soul of Shaolin).
Here's how producers Randy Taradash, Paul Boskind and Martian Entertainment and Gregory Rae bill Bare: "Set in a co-ed Catholic boarding school, Bare explores the subject of teens exposed to the issues of identity, sexuality and religion. With provocative lyrics and a thrilling rock score, the musical demonstrates how today’s generation is forced to navigate, for the first time, the tightrope between adolescence and adulthood and how far they will go to keep their world intact."
Throughout the show's run, the production will host a series of post-performance TalkOUTs with leaders of the LGBT community. The TalkOUT series begins on Bare's first preview with Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, the University of Wyoming student who died from a hate crime in Laramie, WY, in 1998. Click here for more information on Bare's TalkOUTs.
Bare had its world premiere at the Hudson Theater in Los Angeles, CA, where it began performances Oct. 14, 2000, and ran through Feb. 25, 2001. Following the Los Angeles production, Bare began its run at the American Theatre of Actors (Chernuchin Theatre) March 25, 2004. It opened April 19, 2004, and played through May 27, 2004. Bare has since had more than 100 productions worldwide.
New World Stages is located at 340 West 50th Street (between 8th and 9th Avenue). Tickets for Bare are available at Telecharge.com or by calling (212) 239-6200.