Rock Musical Bare Strips Down and Explores New Turf in Off-Broadway "Revisal"

By Michael Gioia
22 Nov 2012

Current Bare stars Jason Hite and Taylor Trensch
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN
To aid in Hartmere's exploratory process, Arima, Shankel and Wall were enlisted to help bring a fleshed-out and evolved Bare to 2012. Relationships have thickened, characters have changed, songs have been added and the students of St. Cecilia's are products of the iPhone and Facebook generation — things unimagined a decade ago.

"We're seeing [Peter and Jason's] relationship begin," said Hartmere about the show's central characters — two teenage boys who fall in love behind closed doors, but were immediately conflicted in earlier stagings. "We're seeing the love blossom, and we're seeing them be happy together, but I think the relationship is the same. When you first meet want to spend every waking moment [with them, but] how do you do that?" Hartmere also poses an exciting challenge for Jason and Peter — they are no longer roommates, as they once were in 2004, and must now find the proper time and place to be with each other.

"The first time you see us in the show is complete bliss," said Jason Hite, who plays Jason, the teenage "golden boy" struggling with his sexual identity. "We're deeply in love and at Jason's lake house — kind of secluded away… It's really heartbreaking to see their relationship go through the twists and turns that any relationship, especially a young relationship, goes through. We go through the secrets, and we go through lying and arguments."

Jason, the character who once presented himself with a tough exterior, truly "bares" his heart and soul in the current revival. "Role of a Lifetime," a standout internal monologue once performed by Peter, takes on a new "Role" with Jason behind the lyric.

Arima explained, "[Jason thinks,] 'I'm falling in love with this guy named Peter, but I have to play sports, and I have to be in the locker room with a bunch of guys who are all talking about girls. I have to marry someone…' It's all of that, so when you think of 'Role of a Lifetime,' it felt [more natural]."

(Hartmere also confided that the song was originally attached to Jason in Bare's early stages.)