BARE THE MUSICAL Previews

LYLS3637
Featured Actor
joined:5/1/09
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/19/12 at 03:16pm
Tonight is the first preview of the updated and re-invented production of BARE at New World Stages.

I would love to hear what people think after finally seeing it. For those like me who are going tonight, Judy Shepard will be speaking after the show as part of the production's TalkOUT series.
MichaelDendy
Chorus Member
joined:6/1/11
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/19/12 at 04:27pm
Can you please post a listing of the songs? That is what I am most interested in!
MusicalDreamer
Swing
joined:9/30/12
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/19/12 at 09:09pm
Really looking forward to hearing the reviews!
kadu335
Stand-by
joined:5/3/09
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 01:36am
I just got back from the first preview.

Before I start writing, I would like to point out two things:
1. English is not my first language, so please ignore some eventual grammar mistakes. Thanks!
2. Before tonight, I knew VERY little about this show. I had never even heard the cast recording before, so I can't really compare it to the original.

Out of the gate, I have to say that the set looks A LOT better in person than it did on that press video. It's not an amazing set, but I felt it served this production well. It's pretty obvious they took a lot of influence from other young-oriented shows to design it.

Overall I felt like most of cast did a good job considering it was their first preview. I really liked the guy playing Jason... He did great with his songs and had the best acting for me. Unfortunately I cannot say the same thing about the guy playing Peter. I felt like he did an "ok" job acting-wise and I didn't like his singing voice at all. He also seemed a little too over-rehearsed... a bit mechanical at times. I felt the same about the actor playing the priest.

I'm a little on the fence about the choreography. I'm a big fan of Travis Wall but I felt his work on this was a little hit-and-miss... it was well integrated to the show in some moments, but a little excessive on others. At least it was well executed by the cast.

As far as the material goes, this show (or this production, at least) was very uneven. Some touching scenes followed by some really cheesy moments. The book has a lot of clichés, but it also mirrored a lot of stuff I went through as teenager. I saw a LOT of myself (or my young self) in the Jason character. The score is not particularly memorable, but I did connect with a couple of songs.
I have a very strong feeling this show would've been a lot more appealing to me if I was a couple of years younger than I am, when this subject was more relevant to my life.




For the person who asked about the song list






Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Updated On: 11/20/12 at 01:36 AM
LYLS3637
Featured Actor
joined:5/1/09
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 03:39am
Saw the first preview tonight as well. I should probably point out that I've known the show extremely well since 2005, and spent over a year and a half trying to mount a production of it and ended up being in one as well. So I'm a huge fan.

That being said, after hearing of the complete re-invention of the material, I was able to lower my expectations going in. Thankfully, it seemed to work to an extent.

There are 8 completely new songs. The first being the opening "Million Miles from Heaven" replacing "Epiphany." The song fit the cast well, and some of the harmonies were gorgeous, but compared to "Epiphany," it was really underwhelming. As someone who went to a Catholic high school, the fact that "Bare" opened with a Mass really put you right into that strict, Catholic setting right off the bat. Without "Epiphany," the show's religious tone felt almost non-existent.

The next new song-- "Easy Girls"-- WOOF! An ode to horny, high school jocks everywhere, it's sung in the locker by Jason's basketball buddies who are forced to default to porn when girls aren't around. It felt like it was just an attempt to flesh out the chorus guys, and it completely took away from the action of the main 5 characters.

"Drive You Out of Your Mind" replaces "Wonderland" and it's actually the one replacement song that bests its predecessor. It's sung by Nadia, who replaces Lucas as the drug dealer of the group, and it's the closest thing the show has to a showstopper. Barrett Wilbert Weed (Nadia) is brilliant!

"You Don't Know" is a new duet between Nadia and Ivy, showing that even though these two girls are foes, they have much more in common then they realize. It's ok, nothing good, nothing bad, and the girls sounds very beautiful together. But when you notice that this song probably replaced "A Quiet Night At Home," it becomes a little frustrating to take in.

"Best Friend" is sung by Peter and Diane Lee as they prepare for the birthday party (Jason's birthday now; not Ivy's). It's comical and both Taylor and Alice have great timing. I was a little confused by it's purpose though, considering it doesn't move the story along.

"Hail Mary" will be the song that divides fans from this point forward-- guaranteed. It replaces "911 Emergency" in every sense of the word. Sister Joan appears to Peter as the Virgin Mary in a pot-induced vision. It's R&B/Soul infused, and even comes with a disco ball, and Supreme-like back up singers. I enjoyed it only for Missi Pyle's performance. She's funny, commanding, and really goes for it. "911 Emergency" is VASTLY better musically, but this scene works better overall because of Missi Pyle.

"What If I Told" is actually incredibly powerful, and may be the best new song in the show. It doesn't serve to replace anything per say, rather, it shows the audience what Jason is going through. How he's trying to reconcile his true self with what his father and church want him to be. Jason Hite (Jason) really shines here-- both as an actor and singer.

"You're Not Alone" replaces "God Don't Make No Trash." It's a tender and emotional ballad as opposed it's loud and joyous predecessor. It's basically a nod to the phrase "It gets better," and it succeeds on an emotional level thanks to Missi Pyle and Taylor Trensch.

I need to make a plea, right here and now, to the producers, director, and Mr. Hartmere... If you change ONE thing in previews, it HAS HAS HAS to be these new lyrics to "All Grown Up." God awful. Ready for this... the line "Life is there to interrupt" in the chorus is now "Fragile as a paper cup." Enough said...

The structure as a whole is very different. Instead of being mostly sung through, it now has book scenes, which serve Sister Joan and Peter very well. "Promise" is now just dialogue, which worked just fine, and all the Shakespeare is now spoken as well, which I was disappointed in.

Songs that were greatly missed-- "Epiphany," "A Quiet Night At Home," and the motif: "Hear my voice... I don't think you see me... And you think you know me."

I also had a issue with the character of Nadia. Not the performance-- the performance was actually pretty damn close to perfect. It's the change to the character itself. I found her to be extremely angry with none of the humor. Nadia used sarcasm and humor to deflect her feelings of insecurity about her physical appearance. I have no idea why this new Nadia was so angry. Nothing was said about it, except one throwaway line about her not getting along with her mother. She was also extremely hostile towards Jason throughout the show until the end when she provides him with the drug that he OD's on. (Another change that didn't sit well with me).

The bullying theme was down fairly well (although what the cool kids forced the outsiders to do felt awkward: lay down on their back and act like cockroaches in front of everyone).

Cast was pretty incredible-- Jason Hite (Jason) was fantastic. Taylor Trensch (Peter) may not have had the strongest singing voice, but given the new character of Peter that isn't as vocally demanding as before, he fit the role perfectly. Incredibly funny, charming, and showed quite an amount of emotional depth. I was impressed. Elizabeth Judd (Ivy) had a fabulous voice and is a good actress, I just think the character suffered in the rewriting of the score/script. Gerard Canonico (Matt) is the best Matt I've ever heard and seen. Great acting chops with a beautiful voice. Missi Pyle (Sister Joan) and Barett Wilbert Weed (Nadia) were my favorites. They managed to take characters that probably would have come across as hammy and extreme, and stole the show.

Overall, what I have a hard time understanding is why they felt the need to change SO much of the score. I feel like most of the music worked before, so why replace so much of it? I get the need to update it to the smartphone/Facebook generation, and that worked just fine. But the radical omissions overall were detrimental to some of the characters (Nadia) and themes (religion and family).

If you were not a fan of Bare to begin with, you definitely won't be a fan of this. If you are a fan of Bare, lower your expectations, realize you will not be seeing ANYTHING like the 2004 ATA production or 2007 licensed version, and you may find it enjoyable.

As I sat and listened to Judy Shepard talk about discrimination, hate, violence, and how the arts can provide hope and acceptance for younger members of the LGBT community, I realized this show needs to be out there. Whether it meets my standards as a fan is irrelevant. Its message is back, finally, after 8 years, and young people who knew nothing about it are seeing it and being moved by it. It's thrilling to think about.
kadu335
Stand-by
joined:5/3/09
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 10:30am
i was hoping someone would point out the differences between the two productions since I'm not familiar with the original.

It's funny that most of the songs I didn't care about are the new ones hah. The only one I actually liked was "What if I Told You". It was pretty good and well performed.

I also liked the actress playing Sister Joan. "Hail Mary" only worked for me because of her. "You Are Not Alone" on the other hand, was one of the cheesiest moments of the show for me... I'm not sure if it was the song or the staging (or both), but it didn't worked for me at all.

I also had a problem with the Nadia character. The actress did a great job, but I was expecting some sort of answer or background info that would explain her bad attitude.
Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 10:36am
Kadu, english might be your second language but you're more articulate than most people here.
kadu335
Stand-by
joined:5/3/09
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 10:44am
well, thanks Jordan! I really appreciate that!

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
DEClarke
Broadway Legend
joined:11/22/06
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 10:50am
The lyric changes on the concept album in "All Grown Up" and "You and I" make me cringe. Your report makes me loathe "All Grown Up" now. That's awful. And the lyric changes in "Best Kept Secret" in the preview video are disgusting.

I've had a hard time listening to my 2004 Demo CD that I got from Sh-K-Boom and the 2007 Concept Album with all the news coming out about this new production.

With these reviews, I have lost all faith--no pun intended--in BARE. It sounds like garbage now. I guess they didn't learn from George Lucas. Way to kill a show creative team.

Updated On: 11/20/12 at 10:50 AM
Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 10:51am
I can't wait to get back into the city to see this next week. I have a love/hate thing with the show but I'm more curious to see this remounting than almost anything else this season.
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 10:55am
Is there any nudity involved?
LYLS3637
Featured Actor
joined:5/1/09
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 11:05am
Prior to "You and I" at the beginning, Jason and Peter are in a bed together (post-activity) and are wearing only boxers (short boxer briefs in Peter's case). In "One," Ivy's in a bra and skirt, while Jason is in a tank undershirt and boxers. Nothing too outrageous.
little_sally
Broadway Legend
joined:1/15/04
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 11:20am
It seems like they really streamlined the Romeo and Juliet stuff.
A little swash, a bit of buckle - you'll love it more than bread.
ChanceEncounter
Stand-by
joined:7/7/12
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 12:09pm
I've known about Bare for a while, but never seen it, and only recently really started listening to the 2007 recording (which I adore) and watching various Youtube videos of productions (there's one of production Indianapolis with a Peter who looks exactly like Logan Lerman that's really quite good, done in a thrust with multiple cameras edited together). I was nervous after seeing all the complaints about the preview video (which I must admit I didn't watch) but after reading the reviews in here and seeing the song list I am cautiously optimistic. I'm upset by a few of the cut songs (Epiphany in particular and Auditions, because there's something about the singing of Romeo and Juliet that was really moving, particular the "My life were better ended by their hate than death prorogued wanting of thy love") but I'm still excited.
LYLS3637
Featured Actor
joined:5/1/09
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 12:25pm
Also definitely worth mentioning is original songs that have new titles and lyrics

"I Meant To Tell You" is "Ever After" with completely new lyrics

"Kiss Your Broken Heart" is "Touch My Soul" with all new lyrics

Updated On: 11/20/12 at 12:25 PM
zepka102
Broadway Legend
joined:5/26/04
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 12:27pm
I've been a huge fan since the ATA production. I didn't see it live, but do have the well-circulated video, and definitely found that production to be quite strong. It definitely had weaknesses that could easily have been fixed, but I think they had great songs that really gave us a feel for all of the characters. From what we heard before about changes, including dropping Claire, to the preview video on here, to what was LYLS said (thank you for the thorough breakdown), I'm kind of losing faith myself in what they've done to it. If what people say stays constant, I might have a tough time going... shallow, maybe, but it really had the elements to make it a powerful and emotional show.
::bust a move::
kadu335
Stand-by
joined:5/3/09
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Posted: 11/20/12 at 12:49pm
after all the comments here, I wish I could've seen the original. I didn't find this production great, but it's not terrible by any means either. I had a good time. If the original was better, I would've probably liked that.

Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.
Updated On: 11/20/12 at 12:49 PM
tourboi
Broadway Legend
joined:12/15/05
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Posted: 11/20/12 at 01:08pm
Here's what I don't get.

If you don't have faith in at least 50% of the show, why produce it? Why not create an original show? With all these (drastic) changes, it's not Bare. It may turn out to be a great show. But it's not Bare.

One hopes that when this thing is over (and hopefully for the folks involved it runs a while), that they continue to license the original (read "real") Bare. It's still on the list of show's I'd like to put up, but I only hold interest in licensing the original.

If this version completely replaces the original in licensing, and the original is lost... it's a shame.
tourboi
Broadway Legend
joined:12/15/05
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 01:11pm
And why is "Rolling" (and footage that looks like a rave) on the show's main website if they're cute?
divacb
Swing
joined:7/22/11
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Posted: 11/20/12 at 01:12pm
I will say, i love my bootleg of the original, but going into this knowing it has changed and with an open mind i really enjoyed it, and felt they did a great job for a first preview. over hearing some of the production people say that the show is not done changing and will change even more before opening(December 9th_. For all we know they will add some of the old staples in(hopeful). I am excited to see how the final product of this show ends up, being i know for a fact i will see this show a bunch of times.
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 01:19pm
The "real" Bare needed stream-lining and tweaking. This show is NOT "Bare", this is a loose adaption. I will see it. I will judge it on it's own merit. I will also judge it on the revisions. I know this was a mistake when I heard the words "Arrima" and "Werle".
boggess
Stand-by
joined:7/5/12
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Posted: 11/20/12 at 01:39pm
I'm sad to hear that all of the Shakespeare is now spoken, some of the R&J- centered songs from the original were my favorites. Is Pilgrim's Hands (which I notice is still in the score) included in that? Is it a lot different from the original show's version? Also, how does the show play out now that the kids are no longer seniors?
ChanceEncounter
Stand-by
joined:7/7/12
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Posted: 11/20/12 at 01:53pm
Ack, hearing that Ever After has been altered leaves me fairly distressed.
little_sally
Broadway Legend
joined:1/15/04
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Posted: 11/20/12 at 02:11pm
I'm with you, boggess, the Romeo and Juliet stuff was some of my favorite in the show. Sad to see "Queen Mab" especially has been cut.
A little swash, a bit of buckle - you'll love it more than bread.
CurtainPullDowner
Broadway Legend
joined:11/4/04
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Posted: 11/20/12 at 02:11pm
BARE was not about bullying. It was about the love of 2 boys, coming out and dealing with Catholic guilt. Why would you change the basic themes? And it really pains to me hear people say the score is so-so. Was it genius before? no. but it was a refreshibg inventive score and one reason the show still lives in memory.

Updated On: 11/21/12 at 02:11 PM
broadwayguy2
Broadway Legend
joined:5/18/03
BARE THE MUSICAL Previews
Posted: 11/20/12 at 02:29pm
It's because a certain director lacks a few absolutely basic abilities a director must possess, chief among these is interpreting a script and understanding it's style and themes.

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