"Bare : A Pop Opera,"a musically-charged and sexuality-questioning explosion propelled from the stage and onto the laps of the audience. Certain songs were heavy with harsh beats and foot stomping rhythms, while others captured your heart. What I liked most about this musical, however, it would definitely be the lyrics. They were so heart felt and poetic; I found myself thinking over each refrain, even after the song was long ended.
This is a coming of age story for a group of senior high school students at a Catholic boarding school, "Bare : A Pop Opera" is not your typical musical theatre fare, touching on such subjects of homosexuality, drug use and teen pregnancy in a sometimes dark view of adolescence. Wrapped around these universal teen issues is a church that is at most times unyielding in its beliefs, causing confusion and angst for these kids coming to the discovery of who they are.
These heavy and controversial subjects were handled with respect and consideration, which was good because of the wide range of audience members present. I thought it was beautifully done.
Furthermore, the actors were fantastic and the singing was pretty good; however, probably not one of the best vocals I’ve heard out of a student theater organization.
I bowed to the two leads, Bibo Reyes and Jaime Barcelon, along with the mother (Jenny Zamora) of the Peter (Bibo) were extremely talented. Bibo and Jaime both have tremendous voices and there is a real connection between them. They stood out the most to me, in terms of talent. Jaime is particularly good here as he struggles to reconcile his feelings for Peter (Bibo) and his perception of how the church and those around him would judge if they knew his secret. And of course, stand-out in all his characters is Rem Zamora with his characters as the Priest and the stunning Sister Chantelle.
"Bare : A Pop Opera"'s knowing exploration of teen challenges, coupled with the solid presentation from the BueRep, this a powerful piece. While it may sadly become another show preaching to the choir, it's okay to be reminded we've all been there and, to borrow a phrase, "it does get better."
Directed by Ana Abad Santos, "Bare : A Pop Opera" will open this February 29 with runs from March 1 to 3 and March 7 to 10 with gala shows from Wednesdays to Saturdays at 8pm, and matinée shows on Saturdays at 3pm. For tickets and inquiries, you may contact Chiz Jardin at 09165787618 or through e-mail at email@example.com. For show buying, you may contact Luis Marcelo at 09175025847.
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