Entertainment » Theatre

Bare: A Rock Musical

by Kenyth Mogan
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Sunday Sep 8, 2013
The cast of ’Bare’
The cast of ’Bare’  

I have a confession to make, "Bare: A Rock Musical," is my most favorite musical of all time. The story of the star-crossed lovers hidden in the shadows is one that, as a gay man from Montana, I was all too familiar with in high school.

Though I have never seen a truly live performance, I've been a fan since I first discovered the musical on an impromptu trip to New York in 2004 and have heard every concept, soundboard and official cast recording that has ever made its way onto the Internet. So, when I took my seat at the Hayworth Theatre, Producers Topher Rhys and Jamie Lee Barnard of glory | struck productions as well as director Calvin Remsberg and his cast, had a lot to live up to.

Everything I thought I knew is now changed forever.

Until tonight, Michael Arden, John Hill and Jenna Leigh Green have always been my Peter, Jason and Ivy of choice. Payson Lewis, Jonah Platt, and Lindsay Pearce, have portrayed these almost family-like characters to me with such ease and conviction that it was impossible not to immediately fall in love with them.

Payson Lewis, Jonah Platt, and Lindsay Pearce, have portrayed these almost family-like characters to me with such ease and conviction that it was impossible not to immediately fall in love with them.

The entire cast was great, and watching (the phenomenal) Stephanie Andersen as the feisty Sister Chantelle belt out "God Don't Make No Trash" is an experience I will never forget. The message of that song alone brought several people to tears around me.

My biggest surprise of the night was watching Alissa-Nicole Koblentz, who portrayed Peter's mother, Clair, perform the song "Warning" which deals with the realization that her son is gay. Maybe it's because of my own mother's reaction to my homosexuality, but it's never been one of my favorites, until she started to sing. Koblentz sincerity and powerhouse gave me goose bumps.

The only part about the play that even remotely bothered me (and it wasn't even very much) was the character of Nadia. Not the actress, Shelley Regner was hands down fantastic. But the girl is beautiful and doesn't appear to have an ounce of fat on her body. She's far too striking for anyone to consider being a "Plain Jane Fat Ass."

Though the stage was small and the room was hot, once the lights dimmed and the music started, none of that mattered. Because of the clever staging and lighting, I became a fly on the wall on the hollowed halls of St. Cecilia's Catholic boarding school and the world I had been envisioning for so many years in my head was suddenly all around me.

I laughed, I cringed, I cried. From start to finish, "Bare" was every bit as amazing as I had hoped it would be. It was beautifully done and a wonderful tribute to the memory of Bare's composer Damon Intrabartolo.

"Bare: A Rock Musical" runs through Sept. 22 at the Hayworth Theatre, 2511 Wilshire Blvd. in Los Angeles. For information or tickets, call 323-960-4442 or visit www.bare-la.com

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