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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Theatre Review: BARE: A Rock Musical

Bare: A Rock Musical
Directed by: Calvin Remsberg
Musical Direction by: Elmo Zapp
Choreographed by: Jen Oundjian
Produced by Topher Rhys & Jamie Lee Barnard
Book by: Jon Hartmere & Damon Intrabartolo
Music by: Damon Intrabartolo

Lyrics by: John Hartmere

Synopsis: With pulsing rock music at its core, BARE focuses on the coming-of-age of a group of high school seniors at a co-ed Catholic boarding school, each struggling to define themselves in the face of their relationships, sexuality and religion. 

A story of discovery, acceptance and love, this provocative piece centers on the clandestine relationship between two roommates in a well-locked dorm room. As the pair navigates adolescence, we see the consequences of secrecy unravel though their eyes and those around them. 

Hayworth Theatre 
2511 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA  90057 

Fri, Sep 06 – Sun, Sep 22 
Fri, Sat: 8:30pm
Saturday Matinee: 2:30pm
Sunday: 7:30pm 


13 years ago, Bare took Los Angeles by storm and became a phenomena in musical theatre.  It told an important resonating story about acceptance and fear and confusion that is even more important now maybe than it was over a decade ago.

Now, after its long absence, Bare, now subtitled as a "Rock Musical", comes home courtesy of Glory/Struck.  It's an exciting project and a welcomed return judging by the full audience buzzing with anticipation at last night's performance.

Less than a month ago, one of Bare's creators, Damon Intrabartolo, passed away suddenly.  He would not have the chance to see this production of his show.  That is especially sad as I think he would have been extremely proud of what the people at Glory/Struck have produced.  They've created a beautiful production here and one that I am more than confident in calling a must see show.

Click the RAWR for the full review.

Much like Glory/Struck's stunning production of Spring Awakening, the cast here is simply incredible.  The entire cast look and sound amazing.  Their performances are riveting and they are flawless even in the face of a minor sound issue (a bit of feedback).  Technically and vocally they are consummate performers.  Inspiring for sure.

Featuring original cast members Stephanie Anderson (brilliantly reprising her role as Sister Chantelle) and John Griffin (Formerly Jason, now giving us a heart-wrenching performance as the Priest), Spring Awakening holdovers Caitlin Ary, Nathan Parrett, Jonah Platt, and Alissa-Nicole Koblentz; and newcomers Christopher Higgins, Kelsey Hainlen, Casey Hayden, Katherine Washington, Reesa Ishiyama, Harrison Meloeny, Lindsay Pearce, and replacing Katie Stevens for this performance, Shelley Regner (who for the record was fantastic).  If I took wrote how much I loved every person in this cast this review would never end.   Stephanie Anderson was particularly poignant and brought a tear to my eye.  Caitlyn Ary is impossible not to notice on stage and just gets better every time I see her (three shows now).  Lindsay Pearce was riveting.  Shelley Regner was heartbreakingly good. Jonah Platt was perfection.  The list goes on.  Everyone should be proud here.  They were all magnificent.

I do need to highlight who had my favorite performance.  Payson Lewis is an absolute revelation as Peter.  He was captivating and I felt every emotion he was giving.  I cried with him and experienced everything right along with him.  It was magical.  What a fantastic performance.

The songs (all the original songs here) are great and are performed excellently both by the cast and the live band.

I'm running out of praise here.  You have several more chances to catch this show starting on Friday (assuming you aren't already on your were there now to catch tonight's show).

I implore you to go see it.  This is an important, more now that ever, story with a message that should be seen far and wide.  It's beautiful, touching, heart-breaking, and inspiring.  It touches on things we've all felt and is presented in a wonderful way.

Bare: A Rock Musical is a definite must see show.  Please go see it.  Take your friends, take your family, take a stranger off the street if you have to.  Just go see it.

Pop Culture Beast Rating:
10 out of 10  

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