This musical showed me that imperfections don’t matter so much when there’s an awesome story, amazing cast and frequent bits of brilliance.
I felt excited for much of the time I was in that theatre; even just the church-like façade on and around the stage and the sound of bells I experienced as I came in. Every part of the production was executed with energy and attitude. The groups numbers were a delight and the character pieces, given by the leading ladies of the cast, were beautiful, poignant and smart. Not forgetting the OMG-so-good Sister Chantelle.
The story is nice and strong, plus who doesn’t like a mixed catholic boarding school as a setting? I personally felt a bit let down by the ending, then again, could it have really gone anywhere else?
I must say, I am also not a fan of rock-like recitative; when conversations are sung through strained rhyming-couplets and melodic lines that go no where. I don’t like this. The repetitive, circular melodies make me feel agitated and having to listen so carefully for important information over significant lengths of time give me a headache. I am sure many people actually enjoy this, however, for me, it does a disservice to the story and music – the main reason I have a love-hate relationship with Rent.
Indeed, this musical has a lot in common with Rent. Storywise, it is easier to grab onto; musically, it lacks the memorable numbers that make Rent triumphant, though ‘God Don’t Make No Trash’ is a fun one.
There is a lot of fun, enjoyment and darkness in ‘Bare’. It is exciting, juicy and might be the next generation’s Rent or Spring Awakening. No doubt see it in a Student Union near you over the next couple of years.