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bare

 

“Must-see theatre, providing the kind of experience that absolutely defines modern musical theatre.”

 – BroadwayWorld.com

 

“A Must-See.” – St. Louis Magazine

 

“Great storytelling and fun music, rich characters and very fine performances.”

– TalkinBroadway.com

 

“Smart, humorous and sophisticated.” – Mark Bretz, Ladue News

 

“Go to New Line and plunge into this haunting pop opera.”

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

 

“Definitely a show worth seeing.” – The Patch

 

“A strong, intelligent, interesting show.” – St. Louis Eats and Drinks

 

poster design by Matt Reedy

New Line's 20th Anniversary Season closed with the premiere of the cult phenomenon bare, by up-and-coming theatre writers Jon Hartmere & Damon Intrabartolo. This powerful pop opera has been described as a mix of Rent and Dead Poets Society, exploring sex, sexuality, self expression, guilt, jealously, and religion, and all overflowing with the kind of urgency and intensity that comes with being 17.

New Line Theatre was one of the first companies in America to produce this exciting new work. The New Line cast included Mike Dowdy (as Peter), Jacob Golliher (Jason), Terrie Carolan (Ivy), Charlotte Byrd (Nadia), Jonathan Foster (Matt), Rahamses Galvan (Lucas), Nyssa Duchow (Diane), Zachary Allen Farmer (Priest), Nikki Glenn (Sr. Chantelle), Alison Helmer (Claire), Chance Kilgour (Zack), Andréa Kimberling (Kyra), Sarah Porter (Rory), John Michael Rotello (Alan), and Michelle Sauer (Tanya). The show was directed by Scott Miller, with costume design by Thom Crain, scenic design by Todd Schaefer, and lighting design by Kenneth Zinkl.

First produced in Los Angeles in 2000 and then off Broadway in 2004, this show has attracted a fierce cult following across the country and around the world.

bare follows six seniors at a Catholic boarding school. At the center are Jason and Peter, who are forced to deal with their mutual romantic attraction while trying to live up to the standards of their parents and the Catholic Church. The show explores the range of problems facing American teenagers today, from body image to teen pregnancy, from drug culture to adult expectations. The show's first director, Kristin Hanggan, said in an interview, "Its real allure for audiences is the commonality of experience -- alienation, fear of rejection, confusion of sexual identity and the poignancy of marginalization."

Co-creator Jon Harmere said in an interview, "There are still kids killing themselves. There's a long way to go. One kid calling you a faggot where you're nine is enough. You pray that you survive high school, and then you begin your adolescence in college, maybe. I don't think that's the best we can do, so hopefully, something like bare will bring us a step closer."

The cast of "bare," New Line Theatre, 2011. Photo credit: Jill Ritter LindbergIn Los Angeles, bare 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.

About its off Broadway production, The New York Times wrote, "bare has youthful promise written all over it." The Associated Press called the show an "ambitious and original creation." TalkinBroadway.com said, "The show is breathlessly energetic, and an obvious labor of love crafted with care down to its smallest details."

A workshop of a revised version of bare was held in New York in November 2010, with an eye toward a possible new production on Broadway. Producer Randy Taradash said at the time, “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.” And isn’t that the whole point of human storytelling?

Mike Dowdy and Jacob Golliher in "bare," New Line Theatre, 2011. Photo credit: Jill Ritter Lindberg Want to explore more? We recommend:

The official bare website and the 2007 bare studio recording

Director Scott Miller's background and analysis essay about bare. Or read Miller's other show essays by clicking here.

Video interviews with members of New Line's bare cast about the show

The New Liners' Bare blogs -- director Scott Miller's Blog, Aaron Doerr's Blog, Mike Dowdy's Blog, Rahamses Galvan's Blog, John Michael Rotello's Blog, Michelle Sauer's Blog, Sarah Wilson's Blog

A nice bare fan site

An article in The Advocate about the show's creators

The Wikipedia article about bare

A look at the disastrous 2012 revival of bare

Baz Luhrmann's film version of Romeo + Juliet

Two related works on DVD, Dead Poets Society and Rent: Live on Broadway, as well as the teenage rock musical, Colma, on DVD

The excellent PBS documentary God in America, about the history of religion in America

The book Prayers for Bobby: A Mother's Coming to Terms with the Suicide of Her Gay Son

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I LOVE MY WIFE    TWO GENTLEMEN OF VERONA    bare