Hey everyone. 🙂 I always tend to post this feature at night, hmm. Welcome to Musical Mondays, a two part bi-monthly post. The first part focuses on a specific musical and the second part is about five storytelling songs. To make it simple(?), the first parts will always just be one number whereas all of the second parts contain “.5” after them. This is #3, which means, musical time!
This week’s musical is the original Bare: A Pop Opera. This musical contains a mostly small ensemble cast of characters dealing with their struggles at a Catholic boarding school.
Bare contains music and lyrics by Damon Intrabartolo and Hartmere. Bare: A Pop opera was first shown in Los Angeles California in 2000. An album of Bare was released in 2008. In 2012 a new version of bare was previewed and opened on New World Stages. The new version added, edited, and deleted songs and characters to help raise awareness for LGBT rights and bullying.
~How I Discovered It~
This was recommended to me quite a few times online. Months after I finally went and listened to the album recording and fell in love with it.
~Main (Album) Cast~
Jason (Performed by James Snyder)
Peter’s roommate and love interest
Peter (Performed by Matt Doyle)
Jason’s roommate and love interest
Ivy (Performed by Jenna Leigh Green)
Misunderstood and in love with Jason
Nadia (Performed by Kelli Lefkovitz)
Jason’s twin sister, overweight and Jason’s twin sister
Matt (Performed by Christopher Johnson)
Friends with Jason, Peter, Ivy, Nadia and Matt and is in love with Ivy
Lucas (Performed by Jason Ryterband)
The school’s drug dealer, also friends with the afore mentioned
Sister Chantelle (Performed by Stephanie Andersen)
The teacher in charge of the school’s play production, mentor to Peter.
In this very character driven musical, the two main ensemble members are Jason and Peter. Both characters are in their Senior year at boarding school. Jason is the popular one whereas Peter is into plays. Jason and Peter struggle with hiding their relationship and coming out.
In the midst of this, we meet Ivy, who’s in love with Jason; Nadia, Jason’s twin sister who is in love with Matt; and Matt who is in love with Ivy. There are a variety of love triangles and a bit of drama in this musical.
In addition, there is also a production of Romeo and Juliet which the main characters all try out for. One of the unique aspects is how the characters and their plots reflect their counterparts in Romeo and Juliet.
Besides Jason and Peter’s initial plot, we also find out more about Ivy, Nadia and Matt. If there’s one thing this musical got right, it’s the title. All the characters are stripped bare in their emotions.
My favorite character in this musical is Peter. I liked that he was interested in plays and I shared that interest. I thought his feelings and struggle with homosexuality and the church were realistic and well done. I loved how much meaning I felt from Peter as he dealt with Jason and his own feelings.
I enjoyed Nadia and Ivy very much as well. I thought Nadia’s self esteem issues and the perspective people had of Ivy was realistic. Both characters were relatable and had a lot more to them than what other main characters may have seen.
The opening to the musical in Epiphany in which Peter falls asleep in class and has a daymare about everyone finding out he’s gay.
In the following song, You and I, when Peter tries to get Jason to try out for the school play. After Jason tells Peter he doesn’t act, Peter says “I think we’re the best act this school has ever seen”.
I enjoy the song Role of A Lifetime in general as we hear Peter’s struggle with Jason’s feelings.
I like Peter and Matt’s duet as they both sing of their struggles in love and question what they’re feelings and what the church thinks.
The song Bare in general
See Me and Warning
Bare: A Pop Opera is a general pop/rock musical with the occasional rap (Wonderland), electronic (Rollin’) and gospel centric song (911! Emergency!, Wedding Bells, and God Don’t Make No Trash).
Epiphany (Sung by Company)
And I ask the blessing of a virgin,
all the angels and saints and you, my brothers and sisters
to pray for me,
to the Lord our God.
Yes, pray for him, to the Lord your God.
Best Kept Secret (Sung by Jason and Peter)
I know this world can have a place for us
if we just try to find a way to trust
that time will be kind
in a fantasy I dream awake
but reality is give and take,
you take what you can,
you give time a chance
Confession (Sung by students)
Did you really hear me?
Hear my voice
I don’t think you see me
Did you think you know me?
Did you really hear me?
Would you really know me?
Do you think you see me?
Hear my voice
If I ever told you…
Are You There? (Sung by Peter and Matt)
Are you there? Are you there?
Can you make some time for me?
They tell me that you’re out there
And they tell me that you see
I try to find the meaning
God, you know how hard I’m tried
But I don’t know where I’m going
And I don’t have any guide
Ever After (Sung by Jason and Peter)
Not all tales have happy endings, we can’t keep pretending
One (Sung by Jason, Ivy, Peter, and Matt)
Are you there?)
Here inside you,
I am certain you can
help me find my way.
See Me (Sung by Peter and his mom)
Sometimes it’s on the tip of my tongue,
but only spoken aloud, alone,
while I’m praying…
All I ask is an open mind,
it’s such a lonely bridge to cross,
I’ve searched for answers on my own,
to find that I’m completely lost
Pilgrim’s Hands (Sung by Jason and Peter primarily)
Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much
Which mannerly devotion shows in this
For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch
And palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss
Promise (Sung by Jason, Peter, Ivy, Matt, and Nadia)
Maybe he would love you,
maybe if he weren’t that way,
he wouldn’t treat your feelings
like his toy
Once Upon A Time (Sung by Jason)
Once upon a time,
I first held your hand
and love was not a crime
in a private world
where you said
don’t look down
and then I did
and now you’re lost
Cross (Sung by Jason and Priest)
Well I’ve tried to be strong, I’ve tried to belong
But I don’t, or I won’t, I can’t, I can’t
Such a simple, little word – never spoken, always heard
It’s not something I can be, it’s not ok, not for me
Do you know what I’m trying?
Bare (Sung by Jason and Peter)
I’ve never been this bare (I’ve never been so scared)
I never felt such honesty (doubts that will never go away)
Absolution (Sung by Peter and Priest)
He went to you for guidance
you hid behind a screen
knowing how much
empathy might mean…
~Why I Love It~
I love Bare for many reasons. Most notably there’s a religious aspect to it, even if the main characters don’t necessarily believe the same was as I do. This is a musical that stays with you after you finish it, I believe. The first time I listened to it, it made me think about my own perspective and thoughts relating to the musical. I thought this was a really good thing because it challenged me. The feelings in the musical are so real and raw, all of the characters struggled with their feelings and things they kept secret from their friends.
Bare made me feel so many things, sadness, conflicted, pain.and anger. I felt bad for all of the characters at one point or another. This musical basically kills me overtime I listen to it in an emotional overload.
~I Would Recommend This For~
But specifically, I would recommend this for fans of David Levithan, John Green, and Rainbow Rowell,