++ our shit’s none of his business: peter wants to tell the world he’s in love with jason. jason doesn’t want his golden-boy status at their catholic boarding school jeopardized. throw in a couple of love triangles (a quadrangle?), some drugs, clergymen and women, and a loose romeo and juliet parallel and you’ve got yourself bare.
++ i hope and pray that you’ll understand: bare tends to get grouped in with comparable rock musicals, which is understandable given the subject matter — teens, sexuality, and societal repression. and the five main characters are slight archetypes, but portrayed in a complex way, and each character has their strengths and vulnerabilities.
++ so you fill your life with sound: listen to the album! it’s on spotify, and available via itunes, etc. this album isn’t tied to any particular production, and features some cast members from the original off-broadway and los angeles productions. the two leads are brand new though, and james snyder as jason is an absolute standout. DREAMIEST. it’s a great way to experience the show and get the story, dialogue and all..
there are a few complete shows on youtube if you search for them! my favorite in terms of performance and video quality is the sacramento production!
++ and now of course it comes to this: in conclusion, good musical, flawed musical, emotionally devastating musical, excited beyond all belief for off-broadway cast, also if you hate ivy i probably hate you, except you are totally allowed to hate matt, THE END.
I see that Jaymee has debuted what will be, I’m sure, the greatest graphic to come out of this production.
I wanted to add that though everyone’s doing the whole Spring Awakening-esque WELL BARE IS ABOUT GROWING UP AND CONTROVERSIAL ISSUES spiel, that really, Bare is one of my favorite musicals. I’d heard a lot about it and it sounded to me like it was going to be one of those musicals where some of the music was really good but that the story would be cliche, but I was really surprised by it. There is an unexpected depth to the characters that is not necessarily immediately apparent, as Jaymee said, and it just really hits me emotionally every time I listen to it.
Now that I’ve calmed down let me give a few thoughts about Bare (mostly about former Spring Awakening cast members since, you know, that’s my area of expertise):
Two of my favorite casting choices here I think might be two particularly controversial ones. I LOVE Gerard Canonico as Matt. I think playing Moritz and being in American Idiot has given him a reputation for being a particular kind of singer, but I felt he was one of the most versatile cast members in Spring Awakening, and I think that regardless of how they’ll characterize Matt in this production I have confidence that he can handle it.
Secondly, I am stunned at Taylor Trensch as Peter because it didn’t even cross my mind but now I think it may be the sort of casting I wanted in that role all along but didn’t know it. I was fortunate enough to see Taylor Trensch play Moritz twice and I was blown away. I’ve always said that the reason Gallagher remains my favorite Moritz is that when Gallagher played Moritz, he played the role it was like he was Moritz, and everyone since has just been trying to be Gallagher as Moritz. I think Taylor was a rare Moritz who managed to escape that. He seemed to bring a lot of himself to the role and didn’t try so hard for laughs, which made Moritz seem like a real kid. I hope he can do the same for Peter.
I also saw Elizabeth Judd in Spring Awakening and thought she was just okay. She has a pretty voice that should be nice for the part. I feel pretty neutral about that casting.
I can’t believe Alice Lee (who was a Wendla understudy in Spring Awakening) is there and though I wouldn’t prefer her for full-time Ivy, I do hope she understudies her just so we can see what she sounds like in the role. She has such a haunting voice.
Jaymee has been raving about Jason Hite for ages (she saw him in I think two different shows in CA, including as Melchior opposite Eryn Murman in Spring Awakening?) so I’ll trust her there.
There’s talk appearing on my dash about the changes to the story and a lot of people are really upset about certain characters being cut and the like, and I think that I’ve been listening to too much Chess (which has had its plot and song order shuffled around about a billion times) lately because I don’t… actually… have any feelings about that right now. I think it’s unlikely this will be a total disaster based on what we know so far but I guess you never know.
UGH I’M JUST SO HAPPY BECAUSE THIS CASTING SEEMS TO DODGE MOST OF THE THINGS I WAS WORRIED ABOUT HAPPENING TO CASTING AND NOW I’M REALLY OPTIMISTIC ABOUT THIS WHOLE THING