RMU Theatre bares all


Delaney Hassell, Assistant News Editor

 bare: A Pop Opera, RMU Theatres most recent musical production, is a no holds-barred, raw look into the most secretive and racy parts of peoples lives. The story is a complicated one.

Basically Peter, a closeted gay senior at a Catholic boarding school, falls in love with his popular roommate, Jason. Their love is a secret, but Peter wants to go public about the relationship. Jason refuses to let the affair be known because he feels it would ruin his life. To add to the complications, a fellow classmate, Ivy, seduces Jason one night. Her admirer, Matt, then discovers Jason and Peter’s secret that same night. This starts a roller coaster of events that begins to go downhill. These young students try to accept who they are and how society views them, and with help from the church, friends, and ultimately, themselves, they come to terms with who they truly are.

bare. was definitely not what I was expecting, but that is not to say that I didn’t enjoy or appreciate the show. This show did not hold back with societal taboos. Homosexuality, body image, teenage pregnancy, religion, drugs, sex—you name it, it was covered. The cast really embodied their respective characters and whatever struggle each was going through.

The the strong chemistry between the the characters was intriguing, Jason (Patrick McIntyre) and Nadia (Nina Danchenko) had a strong sibling connection,and they built off each other well. They made me truly believe that they had grown up together, which is no simple task.

With this show being a “pop opera,” which means that the show is entirely sung, there are few lines or spoken words, meaning the singing has to be above average. This cast was definitely strong in that category, with the harmonies that resonated throughout Massey Hall being something to be impressed about.

“Are You There?” performed by Peter (Robert Kowalewski) and Matt (Zach Kaiser) was a powerful moment, as their blended voices surrounded the theatre with intensity. The full company songs also had strong harmonies that even the untrained ear could hear. A few cracked voices are always expected, especially on opening night, but overall the vocals were strong.

One character that blew me away was Sister Chantelle (Maria Mauti). First off, I loved her character. Every show needs that comedic relief that shows up every so often. Without giving anything away, the power in her voice when she belted all the songs she sang was amazing. She was definitely one of the highlights of the show.

One thing that can always take away from a production is faulty microphones. On more occasions than one I was distracted by microphones not working, cutting out, or being staticky. This isn’t the actors fault, but it does takes away from the whole feel of the show.

Now, although I am not a huge fan of the show itself, the cast did an impressive job. With all the controversies and racy scenes, this show cannot be easy to perform.   Perhaps Director Ken Gargaro greatest achievement is the cast of the show, with no actors being out of place.

If you don’t have any other plans this weekend, I would recommend going to see this production. Warning, some content may be inappropriate for younger children. Parental discretion is advised.

Opening Date: February 11, 2015

Closing Date: February 15, 2015

Ticket Price: $10 at the door, $5 through Student Life