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Saturday, November 17, 2007


ModMusic (Guest Blogger Edition): Bare: A Pop Opera

Vance here again, and I can't blog about the new Celine Dion album Taking Chancesbecause as a rule as a Canadian, we kinda have to hate her (at least publicly) because we have this whole self-hatred thing when singers do well outside of the country (but I will admit, as nauseating as she can be, she can sing some pretty catchy songs that ingrain themselves like a bad disease). I would talk about the underrated Jimmy Eat World's new album Chase This Lightbut I'm still soaking it up.

So I'm probably a little late in this game but I've been lately obsessed with Bare: A Pop Opera, a musical I never knew existed until recently even though it had run Off-Broadway in 2004 (and began in LA in 2000). Did anybody see it? How come I've never eve heard about this musical about 2 hot Catholic school boys in love? How did I miss that?

So after a few years, they have finally produced Bare: The Album with a cast selected specifically for this new recording, including Matt Doyle currently in the cast of Spring Awakening and James Snyder currently the lead in Cry Baby. I actually still haven't' received it yet (currently available only online through their site and they had such an overwhelming first day sales that they've it has been taking a little longer to ship the first pressing out) but I've been sort of living on the music through youtube.

Here's one of the songs from the show:
"Best Kept Secret" - Bare: A Pop Opera - New York Off-Broadway Production with Michael Arden and John Hill.

Someone put clips (not always great visually but the sound is pretty good) of the NY Off-Broadway production of Bare with 12 of the songs and some narrative explanations preluding each sequence:

It's not as luscious as Spring Awakeningor as rocking as Rentbut there are some pretty good numbers and I'm excited to hear the album because if anybody has heard Matt Doyle (clip at the bottom) at Spring Awakening, he has an AMAZING voice, so now I'm just waiting for the delivery man to show up at my door (amongst other reasons)!

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Blogger Mel said...

I did get to see Bare during its off-broadway run, and the cast recording (given away free at the time to support the announced transfer) has been on my iPod ever since. I have great affection for the show, and I loved the staging. I did think the show was flawed, though, and I'm hoping the rewrites help.

Two key plot elements felt very cliche making the whole show ultimately feel relevant for the 70s and 80s, not the oughts.

That being said, the show had great energy, wonderful performances, creative staging in a small intimate setting. So it was quite special. Still is.

11/17/07, 4:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know what's strange? Matt Doyle comes from my county and apparently we have a gazillion mutual friends. Isn't it weird when that happens?

11/18/07, 6:50 AM  
Anonymous will g said...

I vaguely remember the show getting bad buzz and closing prematurely in NY. I must say it does seem cliche-ridden from what I've seen here,

11/18/07, 7:30 AM  
Blogger Garrett said...

It didn't close early in New York (it was largely sold out.) But the production didn't go ahead with a planned longer run at a different theater. It was rumored that the creators refused to tinker and re-work the show with new producers. The CD and music are fantastic -- the show itself still needs work.

12/6/07, 1:37 PM  

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