bare, also known as bare: A Pop Opera, is a rock musical with a book by Jon Hartmere, Jr. and Damon Intrabartolo, lyrics by Hartmere and music by Intrabartolo. The story focuses on two gay high school students and their struggles at their private, Catholic boarding school.
The musical debuted at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles, California, running from October 2000 - 25 February 2001. The New York production of bare at the American Theatre of Actors off-Broadway, ran from April 19- May 27 2004.
The Los Angeles and New York productions were both directed by Kristin Hanggi. bare made its Houston debut at The Country Playhouse Black Box Productions June 6–21, 2008. It was directed by O'Dell Hutchison with musical direction by Luke Kirkwood.
bare had its Canadian premiere in the summer of 2009 at the Hart House Theatre, Toronto, produced by WatersEdge Productions Inc.
bare had its Sydney Premiere in September 2010 at the New Theatre, as part of the Sydney Fringe Festival.
bare made its Midwest debut in Kansas City, MO at Unicorn Theatre in May 2009.
bare played at the Black Box Theater (also known as The Complex Performing Arts Center) in Putnam, Connecticut from 8–16 July 2011.
It was staged by the MacEwan University performing arts graduates and Raw Mango Productions at the Edmonton International Fringe Theatre Festival 14–20 August 2011.
bare had also been produced in the Philippines by the Ateneo de Manila University in 2009, with the initial run hosted by the undergraduate musical theatre organisation Blue Repertory. The same group also hosted a revival run from February 29 to March 10 2012 at Teatrino, Promenade Greenhills Shopping Center, San Juan, Metro Manila.
NUEMusic Theatre in York,UK staged the musical from March 1 to March 3 in 2012 inside a converted south hall chapel in York St John University.
bare had its Winnipeg premiere at the Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival in July 2012 staged by The Musical Theatre Company.
bare the musical, a new version of bare: A Pop Opera, began previews Off-Broadway on November 19, 2012 and opened on December 9, 2012 at New World Stages. The revised musical was produced by Paul Boskind, Randy Taradash, Gregory Rae, Carl D. White, Carollo & Palumbo LLC, and Martian Entertainment. Musical supervision and additional songs in this production were by Lynne Shankel and Jon Hartmere. The creative team included director Stafford Arima, Emmy-nominated choreographer Travis Wall, Tony award-winning set designer Donyale Werle, Tony award-winning lighting designerHowell Binkley, costume designer Tristan Raines, sound designer Keith Caggiano, projection designer William Cusick, and hair and make up designer Leah J. Loukas. The musical closed on February 3, 2013
bare was presented in March 2013 at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts (Ft. Lauderdale, FL) as part of the Broward Center's PRIDE SERIES. Produced in association with DreamChild Productions, bare features Musical Direction by Eric Alsford and is Directed and Choreographed by Andrew Fiacco.
The Richmond, Virginia production of the pop opera was July 17 - August 17, 2013 at the Richmond Triangle Players (RTP) as the opener of the 2013-2014 season. Bare: A Pop Opera was Directed and Choreographed by Justin Amellio and Musical Direction by Kim Fox. It was nominated for seven Richmond Theatre Critics Circle (RTCC) awards including best musical, director of a musical, musical direction, and costume.
bare: a pop opera had its Regional Premiere July 26–28, 2013 in White Plains, NY at the White Plains Performing Arts Center (WPPAC). It featured a cast of Westchester and NYC actors, directed by Jeremy Quinn, with musical direction by Stephen Ferri. WPPAC co-produced the show with Harrison Summer Theater, a group founded by Ferri.A new production of the original version has been produced again in Los Angeles, this time at the Hayworth Theatre. It opened on September 6, 2013, produced by Topher Rhys & Jamie Lee Barnard for glory|struck Productions, directed by Calvin Remsberg, choreographed by Jen Oundjian with musical direction by Elmo Zapp.
Changes From the Pop Opera to the Musical
Reasons to stage a new production of ‘’bare’’ included a greater awareness of bullying, the movement to legalize gay marriage, and an occurrence of LGBT suicides in the years following the 2004 production. In a Playbill article, Stafford Arima, the director of the Off-Broadway production, expressed his reasons, "Because of the timeliness of what's happening out there in the world, and because we have an author who is alive and living and present in this world, it only made sense to continue to evolve the piece so that it maintained its heart and its soul and its…guts,”
Although the basic plot and message have remained constant, one of the major changes has been altering the format from that of a pop opera to a book musical. Jon Hartmere, who wrote the book and lyrics commented about that revision, "The biggest change is having more space to explore the characters," … "To know these characters a little bit better… you just need more room — you need more room for book scenes, and I personally just wanted to get under the hood and investigate a little bit further."
Hartmere, Arima, Lynne Shankel (music supervision), and Travis Wall (choreography), analyzed the show with resulting changes that included making the St. Cecilia’s students’ relationships more complex, changing and removing characters, adding and removing songs, and incorporating current technology and social media. Although Damon Intrabartolo did not play an active role in the current production, Shankel consulted with him concerning the revisions in order to follow through with his primary intent.
The team also added the start of Peter and Jason’s relationship, took away the roommate aspect of their situation, and transferred the song “Role of a Lifetime” from Peter to Jason. No longer obese, Nadia has been made the school drug dealer, and angry outcast. Ivy has been made a transfer student and is now dating Matt, reasons that provide a stronger basis for Nadia’s anger. The students throw a birthday party for Jason instead of Ivy. The character of Peter’s mother was eliminated, with aspects being incorporated into the progressive nun Sister Joan. Also added is the character of Father Mike. Both replace similar characters from the original production.