BWW Previews: Out of the Box Preps for BARE - A ROCK OPERA
Out of the Box, Santa Barbara's musical theatre company, is preparing to launch their newest production: Bare-A Rock Opera. Bare is an ambitious choice for Out of the Box: as an opera, it requires a cast with the vocal and dramatic endurance to perform a lengthy show that is almost entirely musical; and, in true Out of the Box fashion, the subject matter of Bare is unapologetic and provocative.
Bare tackles the politics of love when romance is taboo; more specifically it portrays the struggle of a closeted teenage couple living at a Catholic boarding school. The show is smart and biting and delightfully theatrical. There is significant relateability in the dovetailing between Jason and Peter's secret, forbidden love and the archetypal forbidden relationship in the high school's production of Romeo and Juliet, the play within the play. The parallels between Shakespeare's classic tragedy and Bare are inescapable, and the anguish of stymied young love is palpable in John Hartmere Jr.'s lyrics and music by Damon Intrabartolo. Angst, anger, and the expression of a desperate lack of power in the face of intolerance makes for timely, pertinent theatre-Out of the Box's specialty.
Bare deals in societal grey areas: religion, sexuality, and the human capacity to judge and compartmentalize people based on their ability to fit a predefined cultural mold. It is a powerful adaptation of Romeo and Juliet with queer overtones. It depicts the drama of life in high school, life within the strict confines of a religious culture, and the human ability to allow love to bloom and nourish despite the risk of being outcast. It's a love story that is deeply heartfelt and terrifying, in the way that teenage love, queer or not, often is. Bare features some of Santa Barbara's most talented young dramatic performers, and is sure to be a thought-provoking, impressive piece of musical theatre.
Look for Bare-A Rock Opera
Center Stage Theatre, Santa Barbara