Jonathan and I received our copy of the new 3-disc studio recording (2 CDs and a DVD documentary) of the complete show of BARE.
I can’t stop listening to it, and I don’t want to stop.
I can’t stop thinking about it, and at the end, I can’t stop crying.
“Bare” is the story of two young guys, Peter and Jason, roommates at a Catholic boarding school who fall in love. It has all the usual drama and angst of the teenage years, plus secretly being gay under the ever-watchful eyes of a judgmental church and an angry god.
The story isn’t unusual. That’s why the music resonates with me like it does. The feelings are still as raw as the day I first felt them twenty-five (or more) years ago. Knowing in my heart that my desires were pure, yet being told by everyone around me that what I wanted was perverted… believing them, trusting them, but feeling deep inside that the adults, the church and the dogma were wrong – but how could they all be wrong and I was right? Isn’t that the height of arrogance? And we know what arrogance goeth before, right?
BARE brings back all the trauma of those years, reminding me how far I’ve come since then. That makes me feel pretty good. But it also reminds me that kids are still feeling this confusion today. And it’s so unncessary. These kids need to hear what the priest in BARE can’t tell Jason and Peter – that they’re okay. Like the adults in my teenage life, the priest isn’t mean or malicious – he’s just misguided and wrong. He’s based his faith on a lie he can’t – or won’t – see. Like Jason and Peter, I didn’t know what to do about it then, so I stumbled along. Fortunately, like Peter, I’m here to tell (or blog) about it.
BARE wraps this unforgettable story (by Jon Hartmere) into a memorable, thoroughly delightful musical experience. The variety of songs shows the extraordinary talent of the composer, Damon Intrabartolo.
Matt Doyle performs the role of “Peter” on the album and James Snyder performs as “Jason.” Both of these young men, as well as everyone else in this incredible cast, are superb. The range of emotions their singing carries is beyond words (so I’ll stop typing).
In a world where asinine movies like “Blades of Glory” and “I Now Pronounce You Chuck And Larry” (or whatever the stupid title is) abound, a story like BARE can’t be told enough times. If you’ve listened to me speak, or read my past writings, you know that a constant theme I have is rebutting the cliche that there are no gay heros or role models. Bullshit. Jon Hartmere & Damon Intrabartolo and everyone else involved in this production are my heros and I wish them the best success with this album and with future productions of the show.
The album has been so popular that there’s a temporary delay in processing new orders. Don’t let that stop you – get on the mailing list and buy the album as soon as you can.