Bare, a Pop Opera, more commonly known simply as Bare, is a musical story of two gay high school students, Peter Simons and Jason McConnell, and depicts the struggles of the two youth within their private, Catholic boarding school. Other characters include Ivy Robinson, Matthew Lloyd, Nadia McConnell, Sister Chantelle, Lucas Carter, Claire Simonds, Tanya Garrett, Zach, Kyra, Rory, Diane, Alan, and the Priest.
The show was created by Jon Hartmere, Jr.. (book and lyrics) and Damon Intrabartolo (book and music). Bare ran at the Hudson Theatre in Los Angeles, California from October 2000 - February 25, 2001. The New York production of Bare, at the American Theatre of Actors off-Broadway, ran from April 19 - May 27, 2004. The Los Angeles production and the New York production were both directed by Kristin Hanggi.
The music from Bare has never been recorded in a studio, however 11 of the songs from the show were recorded as part of a "sampler" disc given to fans during the New York production. Songs on the sampler are as follows: 911! Emergency!, A Quiet Night at Home, All Grown Up, Are You There?, One, Portrait of a Girl, Role of a Lifetime, See Me, Touch My Soul, Warning, You and I.
Peter is a sensitive gay senior who is closeted and trying to reconcile his faith with his sexuality. During mass, he is outed and condemned by his friends and the Church, but wakes up and realizes it was all a dream (Epiphany). Later in the school hallways, he bumps into Jason, his roommate and secret boyfriend. Jason is the most popular guy in school but is also closeted, and the two lovers find it hard hiding their relationship within the public space of the school (You & I). Peter convinces Jason to try out for the school play, Romeo and Juliet. After Jason leaves, Peter sings about his inner turmoil, having to keep their love secret and wondering about their future together (Role of a Lifetime).
At the auditions for the play, directed by the dynamic Sister Chantelle, Jason wins the role of Romeo. Peter gets the role of Mercutio, their friend Matt is Tybalt, and Ivy, the most popular and sought-after girl in school, gets the role of Juliet. After receiving a package from their father, Nadia, Jason's chubby sister and Ivy's roommate, laughs with her brother over their distant parents' lack of parenting (Love, Dad).
Later that night, the group of friends - Jason, Peter, Ivy, Matt and their classmate and drug dealer, Lucas - decide to go to Wonderland, a rave. Lucas supplies them with a powerful new drug that could be lethal if taken in large doses. Uninterested in the rave, Nadia decides to stay home (A Quiet Night at Home).
At the rave (Rolling), Peter and Jason dance together. Peter tries to kiss him, but Jason backs away, and the two run out and quarrel over their relationship. Peter wants to come out and tell the world about them, but Jason wants to keep their love secret (Best Kept Secret). Peter tells Jason he loves him. The two kiss, not knowing that Matt sees them. Meanwhile, Ivy suffers an overdose in the club and is taken away.
The next day, the students of St. Cecilia's begrudgingly go to confession, calling it a "poor man's therapy session." Peter and Matt go into their confession booths and they each ask the priest what they should do. Ivy, having returned shaken but not harmed by her drug incident, receives sketches of her Juliet costume and reminisces about her image (Portrait of a Girl). Matt, in love with Ivy, watches her from afar.
On her birthday, Ivy is brought drunk to her surprise birthday party and everyone serenades her with a crass tribute (Birthday, Bitch!). Peter accidentally eats some pot brownies and leaves the party after Jason intentionally ignores him. In a drunken stupor, Ivy turns away a lovelorn Matt and tries to seduce Jason (One Kiss). Having left the party, Peter and Matt express their frustration over the insensitivity of their beloveds (Are You There?). Drunk and high, Peter tells Matt his secret and Matt leaves. Peter then has a vision of the Virgin Mary who, looking remarkably like a Motown-singing Sister Chantelle, urges Peter to call his mother and tell her he's gay (911! Emergency).
Peter tells Jason that they should come out to their parents, but Jason refuses because his future is on the line (Reputation Stain'd). As their argument builds, Jason pushes Peter down. Peter, hurt and in disbelief, wonders if this is the boy he thought he'd "always follow," and how they ever lost their future together (Ever After). He leaves, but Jason tells him not to tell anyone about them. As Spring approaches, the students get ready to go home for the break. After Peter leaves, Ivy visits Jason and tells him about her feelings for him. Confused between what he wants in life, he gives in to her sexual advances as a last attempt to be "fit in" (One).
In another dream, an ecstatic Peter and Jason are getting married in Massachusetts, with go-go boys dancing and Sister Chantelle presiding (Wedding Bells). Unfortunately, the wedding is interrupted by another bride, Ivy, and Peter is barred from the ceremony. He wakes up from the nightmare scared and alone. Spring break is now over, and In the Hallway of St. Cecilia's, Peter runs into Jason. The two try to talk but are interrupted by Ivy. After Peter leaves, Ivy confesses to Jason her love (Touch My Soul), but Jason rejects her, saying their night together was a mistake, and that he's not interested.
Peter, no longer able to live in the closet, calls home and desperately tries to come out to his mother, who is unwilling to listen (See Me). After the phone call, she wonders when she ever went wrong, and if she ever knew her son at all (Warning). At the play rehearsals, Ivy is missing. They try to continue with her inept understudy, but instead Peter steps forward and eloquently acts as Juliet to Jason's Romeo, and the two have noticeable chemistry together (Pilgram's Hands). After rehearsals, Sister Chantelle makes Peter stay behind. Saying that "it ain't a rainbow without the pink" and that "there's a black woman inside the soul of every gay man," she also tells him that God Don't Make No Trash - which is exactly what Peter needed to hear.
Ivy discovers she is pregnant (All Grown Up) and tries to find Jason. She meets him before the next rehearsals, and he is taken aback by the news(Promise). Matt walks in, and as the cast members arrive - Peter, Nadia, and the other students - Matt angrily reveals all. Sickened and appalled, Peter storms out. Ivy slaps Matt and also leaves. Left alone, afraid and aware of the mess he has caused, Jason goes to confession to seek help; however, while Jason desperation grows (Once Upon a Time) , the priest advises him to suppress his feelings and focus on other things (Cross).
On the night of the performance, the cast does final preparations (Two Households). Jason arrives and asks Peter if they could run away together and forget everything, but Peter tells him that he's tired of hiding. The performance begins, and Jason takes a fatal dose of the drug that Lucas gave him. As the night progresses, Peter notices that Jason is getting more and more disoriented (Queen Mab), and takes him backstage. There, Jason finally confesses to Peter that he is sorry and that he has always loved him (Bare). As they are hurried back out into the spotlight, Jason stumbles and falls onstage. He is carried away and dies.
Peter, in mourning (A Glooming Peace), goes to the confession booth to speak with the Priest. Peter tells him that Jason had looked to the Priest and the Church for guidance in a time of need, but that they failed him. Peter tells the Priest that he and Jason were in love, and that when Jason loved him, he never felt so close to God (Absolution). "I'm sorry, Peter," says the priest, to which Peter replies, "And I forgive you, Father."
At graduation, each character - Nadia, Ivy, Matt - tries to cope with their loss. Peter, reconciled with his mother, finally says good-bye to Jason. As he and the others graduate from St. Cecilia's, Peter tosses up his hat in one final release (No Voice).