Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Bare @ New World Stages Stage 4

Faggot. This word is used every day, but nobody understands the type of impact it can have on people when it is used. How much it hurts. The world each day has tons of teens coming out and being ridiculed because they are a little different; they don’t fit the status quo. Bare explores how media and word of mouth can affect a person’s life.
Bare is an exhilarating new rock musical that follows a group of teens trying to navigate the tightrope to adulthood over the minefield of high school. Along with their teachers, they will wrestle with issues of identity, sexuality, religion and love.
Jason Hite, in his Off-Broadway debut, led the cast as Jason, the confused popular guy, who is just trying to make his way through high school. Hite poured his heart and soul into this role and left the audience begging for more. Taylor Trensch (Wicked) played opposite Hite as his star crossed lover Peter. It was clear to the audience the Peter was madly in love with Jason, and had the audiences heart breaking every time Jason broke his heart. Hite and Trensch are a match made in heaven - both with a long career ahead of them. Elizabeth Judd (Spider-man: Turn Off the Dark) played the new school transfer Ivy. Judd was incredible to watch and had the audience in the palm of her hand. After everything that was going on in the show, she never let the audience forget about poor old Ivy. Gerard Canonico (Spring Awakening) portrayed Matt, the popular but miss understood good boy. Canonico acted with passion, yet somehow fell flat next to this power house cast. He gave the audience nothing that could help us remember him except for the part where he is a key point the climax of the show. Barrett Wilbert Weed (Lysistrata Jones) played Nadia, the drug selling sister of Jason. Weed had wonderful voice and a great acting talent, but there were times in the show where she looked dead in the eyes and appeared absent. Jerold E. Solomon (South Pacfic) and Missi Pyle (Boeing – Boeing) played the two adults of the school - Father Mike and Sister Joan. Solomon was the Reverend of the school and his outlook on things that did not agree with the religion can really make a person sick, Solomon delivered his role with respect and dignity. Pyle was the fresh new teacher who just transferred in to the school that was more into the health and well being of the students rather then what the religion says is right. Pyle had an honest quality about her and a wonderful singing voice to top it off. Pyle also played the stage diva, The Virgin Mary, and created a wonderful show stopping number. The ensemble stand out of the show was Alice Lee (Spider-Man: Turn off the Dark) who plays Diana, the na├»ve friend of Peter. She brought an exciting and fun energy to the stage and had the audience rolling on the floor laughing during the song “Best Friends”.
Stafford Arima has done it again folks; fresh off his run of the reworked and revisited Broadway flop Carrie: the Musical, Arima had another chance to work with a reworked musical and did not disappoint. It was clear that this was Arima’s work because it was full of sharp movement and blocking that constantly moved, but that always seems to work for him. Donyale Werle (Peter and the Starcatcher) did the set design and this Tony Award winning designer did not disappoint once again. She kept the set nice and simple, with crosses everywhere and pictures wallpapering the walls. It was just simple enough to give the show the type of impact the show needed. Howell Binkley (A Christmas Story) did the light design. Binkley kept the show bright and colorful until the show started to get more dark and emotional where he made the lighting do the same thing. William Cusick (The Coast of Utopia) did the projection design and for this updated show, projection was just what it needed especially during the climax of the show.
The world needs to know how harsh the media is and how harsh words are. Separate they can do minimal damage but together, they can cause catastrophic damage to a person. Head down to New World Stages and check out Bare: the Musical.

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