Stafford Arima to Helm Revised New York Reading of Pop Musical bare; Casting Announced

News   Stafford Arima to Helm Revised New York Reading of Pop Musical bare; Casting Announced
A revised version of the Damon Intrabartolo and Jon Hartmere musical bare, which delves into the relationship between two boys in a Catholic high school, will receive a New York reading Nov. 1.

Lewis Cleale
Lewis Cleale

The pop musical gained a cult following after its 2000 Los Angeles premiere and Off-Broadway engagement in 2004. A two-disc cast album was released in 2007. bare has lyrics by Hartmere and music by Intrabartolo. The two collaborated on the book, which has been newly revised for the New York reading.

Producer Randy Taradash and Martian Entertainment are backing the industry reading. According to the Martian Entertainment website, bare is aiming for an upcoming Broadway bow. An official announcement of future plans has not been made.

Stafford Arima (Altar Boyz, Ragtime), who also staged a reading of the pop cult musical Carrie (which will arrive Off-Broadway during the 2011-2012 season), will helm the reading of bare. Lynne Shankel will musical direct.

"I am deeply honored to be working on this newly revised script of bare, especially during a period of time when a story about acceptance, tolerance, and love is so needed," Arima said in a statement.

The cast of bare will feature Lewis Cleale (Father Mike), Leah Hocking (Claire), Capathia Jenkins (Sister Chantelle), Carrie Manolakos (Ivy), Andy Mientus (Peter) and Zak Resnick (Jason). Ensemble members will include Shannon Antalan, Corey Boardman, Liz Byrne, Katrina Dideriksen, Alice Lee, Ravi Roth, Jon Rua, Joey Taranto and Stephanie Umoh.

Producer Taradash said in a statement: "Earlier this year we approached the team about taking a fresh look at their musical, whose universal themes of acceptance, tolerance, and unconditional love, whether from a lover, parent, peer, or from personal faith, have been at the forefront of so many of the discussions our nation has faced in recent times. As we've read with great sadness the headlines of the past few weeks concerning the struggles and despair facing today's LGTBQ youth, we have been struck by how ahead of its time bare was in 2000, and how, sadly, the world has caught up with bare. With a newly revised work in hand, the entire bare team is united in shaping a thrilling and emotional theatrical experience that allows anyone who feels their issues are singular to know that they are not alone."

bare centers on the relationship between high school seniors Jason and Peter and the difficulties they face as they attempt to hide their love for one another against a backdrop of faith and family. The musical also delves into the issues faced by many teens, including body image, alcohol and drug abuse, pregnancy and suicide.

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