PHOTO EXCLUSIVE: "The Bare Necessities!" Rehearsal Candids With "American Idol" and L.A. Bare Star Katie Stevens
By Matthew Blank
The Los Angeles return of the Damon Intrabartolo-Jon Hartmere pop opera Bare begins Sept. 5 at the Hayworth Theatre. Katie Stevens, known from "American Idol" and MTV's "Faking It," plays the role of Nadia in the high-energy tale of forbidden love. She shares some shots from rehearsal and early PR events.
Stage and screen actors Payson Lewis (NBC's "The Sing Off", "Victorious"), Jonah Platt ("The Office") and Lindsay Pearce ("Glee," "The Glee Project") star.
Thirteen years after its world premiere, glory|struck productions revives the material for the first time in L.A. since its debut at the Hudson Theatre in 2000.
Stephanie Andersen and John Griffin, who starred as Sister Chantelle and Jason, respectively, in the original 2000 L.A. production return to the show. Andersen reprises the role of Sister Chantelle, which she also recorded on the 2007 studio album, and Griffin plays the Priest.
The cast also includes Lewis (NBC's "The Sing Off," "Victorious") as Peter, Platt ("The Office") as Jason, Pearce ("Glee," "The Glee Project") as Ivy, Katie Stevens ("American Idol"), Nathan Parrett (NBC's "The Voice"), Caitlin Ary, Kelsey Hainlen, Casey Hayden, Christopher Higgins, Reesa Ishiyama, Harrison Meloeny, Katherine Washington and Alissa-Nicole Koblentz.
"Little did I know when I went on that audition 13 years ago that I'd become a part of such a timeless work that has resonated so deeply with so many people all over the world," Andersen said in an earlier statement. "It is with extreme happiness to return to bare - to step back into the shoes of a woman who has become so beloved by so many."
Griffin added, "This go-round brings my journey with bare full circle, and I'm so excited that Los Angeles audiences will once again be able to experience the emotions, love and message."
Bare is directed by Calvin Remsberg (L.A. premieres of Glory Days and F*cking Men), with musical direction and music production by Elmo Zapp (Spring Awakening in Concert). Jen Oundjian, whose work has been seen on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "America's Got Talent" and "Dancing with the Stars," choreographs.
This is not the same incarnation of the musical that was recently seen at Off-Broadway's New World Stages; that version featured a revised libretto and additional material by Lynne Shankel (Altar Boyz, Cry-Baby). As previously announced, the revised version has international productions planned, and a cast album is in the works.
"We are dedicating the Los Angeles revival of bare to the memory of Damon Intrabartolo," said producer Topher Rhys on the recent passing of original bare composer Intrabartolo. "His music and work has not only moved us and countless others, but has saved lives. There is no better time to bring this piece back home to Los Angeles. While there has been major progress in the fight for equality since the show was last here thirteen years ago, we still have a long way to go. Bare tells a very important message: that the world doesn't always make sense - and nobody has all all the answers - but if we love ourselves, and accept each other, that is what it means to truly bare your soul. We are proud to be bringing his material home to Los Angeles and to carry on his legacy to a new generation of people who need to see this story."
A story of discovery, acceptance and love, bare, according to glory|struck, "centers on the clandestine relationship between two roommates: charismatic, golden-boy Jason and sensitive, soulful Peter. As the pair navigates adolescence, we see the consequences of secrecy unravel though their eyes and those around them: Nadia, Jason's sardonic twin sister, a hard-edged outsider; the attention-prone Ivy, who shamelessly pursues her obsession with Jason; and forlorn Matt, whose affections for Ivy are repeatedly rebuffed."
Bare is produced for glory|struck by Topher Rhys and Jamie Lee Barnard, who recently brought the concert engagement of Spring Awakening to Los Angeles in support of Love is Louder, and previously developed Glory Days in Concert and the 2009 bare workshop to benefit It Gets Better and The Trevor Project, respectively.
Other members of the creative team include Andrew Orbison (associate musical director), Alex Seller (associate music production) and co-producers Stephanie Lazard and Elmo Zapp.
Bare had its world premiere at the Hudson Theater in Los Angeles, CA, where it began performances Oct. 14, 2000, and ran through Feb. 25, 2001. Following the Los Angeles production, bare began its run at the American Theatre of Actors (Chernuchin Theatre) March 25, 2004. It opened April 19, 2004, and played through May 27, 2004. Bare has since had more than 100 productions worldwide.
Glory|struck creates "music-driven art that aligns poignant narratives with social issues. Through compelling stories and identifiable characters, their mission is to bring theatre back to our concert-loving roots – vibrant, guitar-heavy and loud – while using the music and its message to inspire collective action."
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