Sunday, August 24, 2008

Loaded for Bare

Synopsis: Set in a Catholic boarding school, the show centers on a group of friends during their senior year. Altar boy Peter is in love with his roommate Jason, one of the most popular kids in school. They are carrying on a closeted romance but Peter wants to go public with their affair, at least to his mother, whom he loves dearly. Jason isn't so keen on the idea, as he feels that his entire world would crumble if word of the relationship got out. Things get more complicated when Ivy makes a play for Jason. Her rejected suitor Matt discovers the secret that Peter and Jason have been keeping and it's only a matter of time before things start to spin out of control.

My thespian friend is onstage with the College Community Theater (CCT) with 2nd Flight Theatre Company production of bare, a Pop Opera in Sterling, VA. He's part of the chorus, a very cute looking part of the chorus. He told me about the production, and how excited he was to be in it. So I decided to go see it.

I did my homework. The Internet is all about Bare. I figured I'd be doing some major eye-rolling during the performance, and I was not disappointed. As the Director's Notes say in the program,

The show was optioned for an off-Broadway run in 2004, where it was panned by critics and audiences alike. Ask someone to explain teh plot of bare and you will hear nearly every Catholic school cliche in the book: teen pregnancy, drug use, homosexuality ...almost the whole canon.

Yes, the show is campy (although the actors played it very straight), the mother is a hysterical mess, and the nun has a big heart. But... the music is catchy, and the lyrics really grab the emotions. More than that, I think bare is honest to its context and premise. Indeed adolescence teems with melodrama. Teenagers, even the smart ones, do stupid things like fall in love with the wrong person, or never figure out how to love the right person. Of course, it all ends tragically, too! (But at least the play didn't include a fag-bashing.)

I enjoyed this production. The acting and singing were good, and the cast put their whole heart into their performances. And yeah, some of my eye rolling is because I'm a jaded old cynic who's thinking, "You're not trotting out that spavined old pony again!" My truest plaint is that you have to kill off the homo before the last curtain falls. But, what was I expecting? This is an opera.